The researchers managed to recreate the face of the Italian artist Raphael. They made a 3D reconstruction. Thus, art critics intend to reveal the secret of the artist's death. Raphael became one of the greatest figures of the Renaissance, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He died in 1520, when he was only 37. His grave is in the Roman Pantheon. In the 19th century, the artist's body was exhumed and a cast of his skull was made.
At that time, the experts were not sure that the remains in the grave really belonged to the artist. The reason for doubts was the fact that during the excavations in the same grave, the bones of several people were found.
After the research, it turned out that some of them belonged to the students of Raphael, and some remained unidentified. A myth that has been around since the Renaissance is that Raphael led an active life and died of syphilis. Another, less common version, is related to the fact that he died of pneumonia.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the great artist, and the researchers decided to conduct another analysis and create a three-dimensional reconstruction based on an earlier cast of his skull. A molecular biology expert Mattia Falconi said that the scientists were able to find clear matches with Raphael's anatomical features from his images in self-portraits.
After that, the scientists believe that they have enough evidence to confirm that the remains, first exhumed in 1833, really belong to Rafaello Sanzio. The three-dimensional design was able to reproduce only 80% of the face, but the result is beyond doubt. The finished model is unlike any of the alleged disciples who were also buried in the grave.
The only part that could not be recreated in the model was the ears. At the same time, the researchers believe that this is not so important, since during the lifetime the artist wore long hair that covered his ears. The findings give science the ability to further analyze the skeleton to determine what was the eyes and hair color.