Tag Archives: mona-lisa

Art in 140 Characters

Is it pos­sible to encode and com­press an image to such a degree that the raw data can fit in a single Twit­ter mes­sage (140 char­ac­ters) that, when decoded again, is still recog­nis­able? The answer to the ques­tions is a resound­ing Yes, as con­firmed by a cod­ing chal­lenge inspired by Mario Klingemann’s attempt to com­press and encode the Mona Lisa down to 140 char­ac­ters.

Klingemann’s attempt, dubbed the Mon­aT­weeta II, is def­in­itely an image recog­nis­able as the Mona Lisa, but it must be said that some of the entries to the main cod­ing chal­lenge are truly breath­tak­ing.

The win­ning tweet (with a char­ac­ter to spare):

咏璘驞凄脒鵚据蛥鸂拗朐朖辿韩瀦魷歪痫栘璯緍脲蕜抱揎頻蓼債鑡嗞靊寞柮嚛嚵籥聚隤慛絖銓馿渫櫰矍昀鰛掾撄粂敽牙稉擎蔍螎葙峬覧絀蹔抆惫冧笻哜搀澐芯譶辍澮垝黟偞媄童竽梀韠镰猳閺狌而羶喙伆杇婣唆鐤諽鷍鴞駫搶毤埙誖萜愿旖鞰萗勹鈱哳垬濅鬒秀瞛洆认気狋異闥籴珵仾氙熜謋繴茴晋髭杍嚖熥勳縿餅珝爸擸萿

via @spolsky

Genetic Programming and the Evolution of Mona Lisa

The Final Evolution of Mona LisaRoger Alsing used a genet­ic algorithm to cre­ate a bril­liant approx­im­a­tion of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa using only 50 semi-trans­par­ent poly­gons, evolving over approx­im­ately a mil­lion gen­er­a­tions.

You can see the end res­ult, after 904,314 gen­er­a­tions here, but even after roughly 100,000 gen­er­a­tions the image is impress­ive. I loved scrolling through the pic­tures, slowly see­ing the fin­ished art­icle appear­ing.

Mona Lisa: The Science Behind That Smile

Why does the woman depic­ted in the Mona Lisa appear to be both smil­ing and not smil­ing at the same time? The smile part of the Mona Lisa’s face was painted by Leonardo in low spa­tial fre­quen­cies. This means that when you look right at her mouth, there’s no smile. But if you look at her eyes or else­where in the por­trait, your peri­pher­al vis­ion picks up the smile.

I’ve heard this before, but I’m post­ing this today because I recently read this great quote from Stan­ley Kubrick:

How could we pos­sibly appre­ci­ate the Mona Lisa if Leonardo had writ­ten at the bot­tom of the can­vas: ‘The lady is smil­ing because she is hid­ing a secret from her lov­er.’

via kot­tke