Has a modern photo solved the riddle of Mona Lisa's smile?

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Digital artists may have solved the puzzle of the Mona Lisa's facial expression by recreating it as a photograph for the era of the seflie.

The image was one of four classic 16th, 17th and 18th century paintings re-imagined for the modern era in an art project led by digital artist Quentin Devine.

(Yesterday/UKTV Play)
The recreation of the da Vinci masterpiece took 36 hours to recreate (Yesterday/UKTV Play)

A team recreated masterpieces including self-portraits by Raphael (1504-1506) and Rembrandt (1665-1669) and the Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough (1770), as well as Leonardo da Vinci's fabled painting (1503-1506).

Stylists and make-up artists transformed lookalike models before they were photographed in poses as close as possible to the original portraits, before a digital artist added the finishing touches.

(Markus Schreiber/AP)
The Mona Lisa is among the most well-known and celebrated art works of all time (Markus Schreiber/AP)

Each image took 36 hours to recreate.

The project was commissioned by TV channel Yesterday and UKTV Play to mark the start of their series Raiders Of The Lost Art on November 9.

Other recreated art works include Rembrandt's recognisable self portrait (Yesterday/UKTV)
Other recreated art works include Rembrandt's recognisable self portrait (Yesterday/UKTV)

Adrian Wills, general manager for Yesterday, said: "The selfie is the most popular form of contemporary portraiture and so this is our present-day interpretation of these historic masterpieces.

"People have pondered for centuries on Mona Lisa's ambiguous facial expression - was she smiling or frowning? This recreation indicates it was indeed a smile, and she was perhaps more beautiful than the painting suggests."