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Is This Raphael?

Friday, August 7, 2020

Raphael Facial ReconstructionROME, ITALY—The AFP reports that researchers have used a plaster cast of a skull thought to belong to Raffaello Sanzio, the Renaissance artist known as Raphael, to create a 3-D reconstruction of the man's face. Raphael was buried in the Pantheon at the time of his death at the age of 37 in 1520. In 1833, his tomb and several others were exhumed, and a plaster cast was made of the artist’s purported skull, before the remains were reinterred. Molecular biologist Mattia Falconi of Tor Vergata University said the 3-D reconstruction matches Raphael’s self-portraits and images of him painted by others. “The 3-D model shows the eyes and mouth [in the portraits] are his, but he has been kind to himself about his nose,” Falconi commented. The researchers now plan to obtain a sample of the remains in Raphael’s tomb for genetic study. To read about Raphael's involvement in the Renaissance rediscovery of the emperor Nero's sprawling palace, go to "Golden House of an Emperor."

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