Raphael had a deviated view of his own septum.
The 15th-century Italian-born master painter — famous for his work on St. Peter’s Basilica and his lifelike figure drawings — painted himself with a ski-slope sniffer in self-portraits. But University of Rome Tor Vergata scientists have deduced that he had a much larger schnoz.
The Italian scientists believe the painter took some liberties with his own profile, giving himself a much different nose on the canvas than what he saw in the mirror. Think of it as Renaissance-era catfishing, pre-FaceTune.
“He certainly made his nose look more refined,” Professor Mattia Falconi, a molecular biologist who worked on the project to re-create a 37-year-old Raphael — the age that he died — .
Using 3-D imaging software, a digital tissue layering process and a cast of what is believed to be Raphael’s skull made in 1833, Falconi and his team projected a much burlier Raphael — with long hair, a beard, a wide forehead, and yes, a large nose — than how he drew himself. Falconi said the team is 85% sure the presumed skull is of the painter, using portraits made of him by other artists and students by way of comparison.
One picture of a then-22-year-old Raphael, born Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, hangs in the Uffizi gallery in Florence showing the more idealized nose, which Raphael might have envisioned for himself had cosmetic surgeons been around in the 1500s. Currently, the picture is in Rome, as part of an exhibition commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Da Vinci contemporary’s death.
Falconi said the reconstructed face bears a striking resemblance to an engraving made of him by one of Raphael’s students, Marcantonio Raimondi, as well as the subject of “Portrait of a Man,” painted by Sebastiano del Piombo between 1512 and 1515.
“When we finished,” Falconi said, “I said to myself, ‘I’ve seen that face before.’ ”
Source: New York Post
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