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Can Mona Lisa Be Identified By The Skull Of Lisa Gherardini?

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Author Topic: Can Mona Lisa Be Identified By The Skull Of Lisa Gherardini?  (Read 56 times)
Linda Dahlberg
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Posts: 2164

« on: December 15, 2012, 03:55:32 pm »

Reconstructing the face of the real-life Mona Lisa faces a couple of other challenges. Gherardini was more than 60 years old when she died. Facial reconstruction experts have a few techniques to reverse-age someone, such as pulling back the brow ridge, which becomes more prominent in older people. But there’s a good chance that Gherardini was missing teeth. (Many in Renaissance Italy believed that toothaches were the result of dental worms, and others prescribed bloodletting or abstinence for oral discomfort.) If Gherardini’s gums were bare at her death, it would severely undermine an attempt to reconstruct her mouth.

Finally, although Leonardo da Vinci was known for his anatomically correct artwork, Mona Lisa is still a painting. It’s not clear whether Leonardo intended it as a work of photographic realism or an idealized version of his subject. Moreover, Leonardo labored over the painting for years, making it difficult to faithfully recreate every angle of his muse’s face.

Thanks to Shawn Phillips of Indiana State University and Caroline Wilkinson of the University of Dundee, author of Forensic Facial Reconstruction.
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