Research 5

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Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci's work "Self-portrait № 3" and a bust "Leonardo da Vinci"

Research № 5. Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci's work "Self-portrait № 3" and a bust "Leonardo da Vinci" made of stone (marble). 

   The peculiarity of this comparison is in the fact that a subjective portrayal of the person in the painting is compared to the image on the bust, whose material cannot display a rather large number of signs of appearance, or represents them with less accuracy, than the painting. However, considering the detailed elaboration of the marble bust and a small difference in the angle of the presented objects in this case it is possible to apply the method of visual comparison, the method of comparison of relative sizes, as well as combining by the medial line.


Self Portrait №3 Leonardo da Vinci Marble bust of Leonardo da Vinci  Sculptor Leonardo da  Vinci



Автопортрет леонардо да винчи Бюст Леонардо да Винчи

   The method of visual comparison has revealed the following matching signs of appearance: 

Mark 1 – shape of the lower edge of the beard (angular),

Mark 2 – mouth size, line between the upper and lower lips (wavy),

Mark 3 – presence and prominence of nasolabial folds,

Mark 4 – nose height, nasal arch width, nasal bridge width, presence of a hump.

Mark 5 – position of the eyes, eye size, shape of the palpebral fissure, disclosure the palpebral fissure, shape of the inner corners of the eyes,

Mark 6 – prominence of overhanging upper lids,

Mark 7 – prominence of glabellar lines

Mark 8 – shape, size, relative position of the external ear,

Mark 9 – the arc-shaped form of the antihelix and structure peculiarities of the upper leg of the antihelix of the left external ear


   Along with it the distinctive signs are noted below:

Автопортрет Леонардо да Винчи Бюст Леонардо да Винчи


Mark 10 – position the nose wings (average and raised),

Mark 11 – eyebrow contour (wavy and straight),

Mark 12 – frontal and temporal hairline.

   Different eyebrow contours can be explained by the emotion depicted (eyebrows are raised) in the painting, and hairline – changeability of this sign (baldness). The position of the nose wings can be explained by different angles.

   When comparing these images, there is, perhaps, a certain age difference between the people in question, namely the image of the bust is slightly younger, than the image in the picture.

   Using the method of comparison of relative sizes (on the reproductions with a 19 mm distance between centers of the pupils) segments which are least subject to change due to external factors were measured: 4-41 – distance between the inner corners of the eyes, 10mm 5-51 – distance between the external corners of the eyes, 2,75/2,8mm 15-151 – distance between the top points of the ears, 50mm 61-62 – distance between the bottom points of the noses, 10 mm.

Автопортрет Леонардо да Винчи Бюст Леонардо да Винчи


   This method is supplementary and the initial segments cannot be measured absolutely accurately (up to 0,5 mm), considering the different angle of the turn and tilt of the head and peculiarities of creation of these representations of appearance. However, the measurement results show rather identical facial proportions indicating the accuracy with which these people's appearances were depicted. Having combined the left and right parts of the face, divided by the centre line, with parts of the other image, matching signs of appearance also become visible. Each of them is the continuation of the other, except for the tip and wings of the nose, and also the ear size (bigger) in the first image. Discrepancy of these elements is influenced by the angle from which the people are depicted, as well as different turns of their heads. However, the person in the painting and the person in the sculpture are perceived as one and the same person.

Автопортрет Леонардо да Винчи 5И8 Бюст Леонардо да Винчи


   Thus, the results of the applied methods and the revealed matching signs of appearance of the people in question are sufficient for drawing a conclusion that on the studied images the same person is represented.