Death mask of Henry VII helped to recover his true identity

In the framework of the project “My Colorful Past” restorer Matt Lori conducted a detailed reconstruction of the image of the British king Henry VII. He took the dummy, which is kept in Westminster Abbey, and according to legend was made on the basis of the death mask of the monarch. It is unusual for such an ancient product level of detail and realism, but has a number of drawbacks, which is designed to correct digital restoration.

It is known that Henry VII died on 21 April 1509, having lived about thirty years. By the standards of the king was deep 53-year-old man, who in recent years suffered from asthma and gout, and therefore mask depicting a haggard man at the age, not surprising. Quite the contrary – it’s a rare occasion when former subjects do not have to curry favor with the former master and retained his appearance as is.

Work Lori took two months and required the use of technologies of photogrammetry and manual correction of colors. Building three-dimensional models was not difficult, thanks to the quality of the dummy, with selection of the correct shades of colors problems also arose. The real problem was the defect in the right eye and bad selected the right eyebrow of the dummy. This could be the result of injury of a living person, and the result of damage to the mask during the creation process or storage.

Since there was no answer, the artist decided to write all the defects on the spot, as a tribute to the old masters. Besides, that face looks more interesting and “alive”. Last question: on the mannequin’s face the king’s smooth, there’s not a trace of vegetation, which is easily explained by the difficulties in making a wax mask. But in those days men without exception wore beards. Probably the king was no exception, and a small beard he added.

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