Robespierre: 3D Reconstructed Face of French Revolution
This week, Visualforensic studio demonstrated very interesting project – reconstructed appearance of Maximilien Robespierre, famous and significant personality in the days of the French revolution.
Visualforensic studio is a lab at l'Université Autonome de Barcelone medical department. Its methods have successfully been used by the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science, Madrid, Spain. Studio employees – digital designers, anthropologists and coroners – cooperate with criminal investigators in facial recognition cases.
Restless eye, pox-covered face – that’s the result of 3D reconstructed model of Maximilien Robespierre’s appearance. Design resembles his death mask made by Madame Tussauds.
The mask is now kept at Museo di Storia Naturale di Aix-en-Provencе.
During the French Revolution, Madame Tussauds was told to make death masks of famous people sentenced to guillotine execution - not before but afterwards, using the severed head. With her own hands, Marie Tussaud made death masks and in a few days, everyone could see the executed person ‘coming back to life’ at her galley. Robespierre’s mask called “Fall of Tyran” has been a succès fou.
“No doubt, you could see fear in his eyes”, said researcher Philipp Frosch, “We ensured high-level authenticity and precision with our 3D-scanner. We’ve managed to capture mask details on the model rendering used by FBI.”
Reconstruction of the great revolutionist’s appearance is not the first work of Visualforensic – it has been involved into similar projects before. In 2012, they’ve created the face of Henri IV, in 2011 – Simón Bolívar, in 2010 – Pietro III d'Aragón.
Pietro III d'Aragón
Spanish studio is not the only one to use 3D technologies for anthropological studies.
In February, 2006, Italians were surprised to see Dante Alighieri’s appearance (1265–1321), looking not at all manly as they’ve supposed.
The vision of poet’s appearance has evolved on the basis of his portraits, drawn after his death. A firm chin, Roman nose, ardent eyes and laureate wreath. But when the group of Bolognese scientists form Universita di Pisa demonstrated their 3D analysis of Dante remains exhumed in 1921 and presented his full-bodied model to the public, everyone was shocked. Dante became an ordinary, unremarkable man.
Although all these models are the results of a complex computer graphics researches, the involved method has been invented in 1940s by the Russian scientist Mikhail Gerasimov. Since then, his method of face plastic reconstruction has been improving by new researches and computers, but the techniques remain almost unchanged.
Mikhail Gerasimov reconstructing the face of Ivan IV the Terrible.
Reconstruction of Tamerlan’s appearance, work of Gerasimov
The Grand Prince of Kyiv Yaroslav the Wise