Scientists have created the tiniest painting ever, the Mona Lisa that you can see here. It's only 30 microns—less than half the thickness of a human hair. If that's hard to imagine, look at the comparison: If this microscopic Gioconda were a tattoo on an ant, it would only take a minuscule fraction of its eye.
Feast your eyes on the "Mini Lisa," recently created by a team of researchers at Georgia tech. While it looks here to be a decent size, it in fact measures just 30-microns thick – a little under half the width of the average human hair:
The tiny masterpiece was made through a process called ThermoChemical NanoLithography: with a heated cantilever, a tiny device that can accurately apply heat to a surface, the researchers induced heat-based chemical reactions on a surface. The more heat they applied, the lighter a shade of gray the picture became in that area. So with each area acting like the pixel in an image, the researchers applied different amounts of heat at different spots, until they created a gray-scale version of da Vinci's famed painting.
At this rate, it won't be long until we've reproduced da Vinci's prized portrait at every scale imaginable. (Which we say with a hint a cynicism, though we kind of suspect daVinci would have been tickled pink to know his work is being beamed into space and reimagined at resolutions that exceed the limits of the human eye.)