Have you ever wondered what the renaissance artist, scientist, and engineer Leonardo Da Vinci’s voice may have sounded like?
Well using a forensic science technique looks like it was inspired by an episode of CSI, you can hear Leonardo Da Vinci (and the enigmatic Mona Lisa) “talking”.
The voices were created using forensic analysis of the subjects’ skeletal structures from their portraits. Mona Lisa’s voice was realised by guessing her height from the length of her middle finger, with some fine tuning to account for her relatively large nose. Leonardo’s voice was more difficult to guess at because of his beard obscuring his facial features.
Their voices can be heard in a video clip available from a part of Microsoft’s Japanese website currently promoting the “Da Vinci Code” movie. Both speak in Italian, of course, but there are helpful Japanese subtitles to help you to understand what he’s saying. (A quick tip for you though; in Japanese you have to read from top to bottom and right to left!)
Listening to Leonardo was a bit of a let-down, frankly, but I must admit hearing what Mona Lisa may have sounded like was intriguing, no doubt due to the mystique surrounding the painting itself.
Unfortunately for his credibility, Matsumi Suzuki, the scientist who developed the forensic technique won an IgNoble Prize in 2002 for scientific achievement that “cannot and should not be reproduced” after his work in the development of a device that interprets dog language.
The clips are still worth checking out though.