One key to this work is the unprecedented discovery of a true small ermine hidden beneath the visible animal that we see today. We also discover that the first intention of the Master was to paint a classic portrait - without an animal. Probably at the instigation of the Duke of Milan, Leonardo may have altered its composition and later added an ermine then, unsatisfied, transformed it again. Is it not strange then that in 1493 the first poem that describes this portrait does not mention the ermine, as this is an important element of the painting. Thanks to a revolutionary new technique, Pascal Cotte is able to analyse, layer by layer, all the superpositions of the brushstrokes. It is thus possible to reconstruct the whole story; from plank of wood, through all superimposed layers to the final appearance. Everything is analysed rigorously and methodically. The book also reveals important details about the construction of the painting, the wanderings of the painter, his hesitations, his errors and changes. All these findings were not previously visible using the traditional equipment of laboratories of museums.The author uses a new scientific method of analysis of pictorial works he invented and named L.
A.M. for Layer Amplification Method. 330 colour, 160 b&w