Monitoring La Gioconda

Monitoraggio della Gioconda

Ultimate technologies to monitor the mechanical behaviour and the mechanical strains of the painting during its showcase at the Louvre Museum.


The wood technologies and the paintings on the wooden board.

Starting from the late 80's, at the Wood Technologies Laboratory ( now part of the GESAAF department) of the University of Florence, a special research team dedicated to the study of wooden antiques of special interest was formed.

The team was involved since 2004 in a joint research group to study the level of preservation of the wooden board where Leonardo da Vinci's "La Gioconda" is painted on.

The masterpiece was painted on a single poplar board ("Gattice" more precisely, which scientific name is "Populus alba L"), the board dimensions are 79 x 53cm. 

The painted board is framed in a wood chassis (châssis-cadre) who in turn is also framed in the big carved frame showcased to the public. The structure is reinforced with 4 crosspieces mounted on the back.

An hairline crack of 11cm of length starts from the upper side of the board and reaches the forehead of "La Gioconda". The crack is supposed to be formed during the painting early years.

The 4 maple crosspieces are visible on the back (2 wider, 2 thinner). The aluminum chassis, where the strain gauges, the electronic data recorders and the data transmission devices are mounted is also visible. The presence of 4 mini-cells can be noticed in the top and bottom edge. The mini-cells measure in real time le strains on the crosspieces.


Installation of Deltatech sensors and first resuts.


During the latest opening of the musem, that took place 22.11.2013, the sensors system was upgraded with the installation of 4 more load mini-cells custom developed by the italian Deltatech laboratories. Those cells where inserted in the wooden crosspieces. These high technology devices can precisely measure up to 10 newtons of force in real time.


This solution was custom developed by Deltatech for this particular application. All requisites of small dimension, ease of installation, precision of the measurement, low consumption, money cost where took into consideration. The first results from the system confirmed the quality of the solution offered. At the end of 2014 will be possible to review the full data recorded by the monitoring system.