ART&DESIGN

Raphael’s 3D face reconstruction helped to confirm his burial site

And also to find out that the artist was “indulgent towards himself in relation to the nose”.

Photo Getty Images / Tor Vergata University

Italian art historians have made a three-dimensional reconstruction of the face of the Renaissance artist Raphael, which, they say, proves that he was buried in the Pantheon in Rome, writes The Guardian.

Raphael Santi died in 1520 at the age of 37 and was buried in the Roman Pantheon. In 1833, the sarcophagus was opened, the body was exhumed and a plaster cast of the skull was made. Scientists were not completely sure that these were really the remains of the painter, as other skeletons were found next to them. Some of them belonged to the students of Raphael, others remained unidentified.

Employees of the University of Rome Tor Vergata compared the resulting model with portraits of the artist painted by his contemporaries, as well as with self-portraits, and came to the conclusion that they coincide. Molecular anthropologist Olga Rickards said this study provides concrete evidence for the first time that the skeleton, exhumed from the Pantheon in 1833, belonged to Raphael.

The authors of the paper explained that 3D reconstruction captures only 80% of the original face. ” According to study author Mattia Falconi, the only part of the head that could not be repaired were the ears, “but fortunately Raphael had long hair that covered it.” He added that the artist painted his eyes and mouth believable, but was “lenient with himself in relation to the nose.” Falconi also recalled that Santi often portrayed himself as younger than his age. In the future, the researchers plan to find out the color of Raphael’s eyes and hair.

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