Research 8

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Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Magdalena" and Francesco Melzi's painting "Colombina"

Research № 8. Young women about 15-20 years old with a smiling expression on their faces and different tilt and turn of their heads are depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Mother's portrait" № 1 and Francesco Melzi's painting "Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci's mother” № 2.

Portrait of mother №1 "Magdalena" Artist Leonardo da Vinci Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci Mother №2 "Kolombina" Artist Francesco Melzi



   To carry out the research the images were brought to the same size with a 19 mm distance between the pupils (in the second painting the pupils were determined by the center, considering the direction of the look). In the course of the research the angle of a head turn and tilt were determined using a method P. G. Orlova. In "Portrait № 1" the head is tilted forward (3-4 degrees), and is turned to the right. In "Portrait № 2" t the head is tilted forward (6-7 degrees), and is turned to the left.

   A comparative research of the appearance of the people represented in the given images with account for the angle and the features of the images, was carried out using the method of visual comparisonas well as a comparison with the help of masks. The matching signs of appearance are marked in red:

Леонардо да Винчи - Портрет матери Магдалена Франческо Мельци - Портрет матери Леонардо да Винчи

Mark 1 – height, width and contour of the chin,

Mark 2 – mouth size, position of the corners of the lips, height of the upper lip, lips width, line between the upper and lower lips,

Mark 3 – contour line of the upper lip,

Mark 4 – shape and volume of the face, shape of the cheeks, prominence of the cheekbones,

Mark 5 – height, width of the nose, width of the nasal bridge, nose tip shape,

Mark 6 – degree of prominence of the under eye bags, absence of eyelashes

Mark 7 – position (extent of overhanging) of the upper eyelid – absent,

Mark 8 – eyebrows shape, interposition, height, width, length, density and peculiarity,

Mark 9 – hairline, hair color, presence of a part the middle of the head.

   Distinctions are revealed in the hair tone and hair type, which can be explained by different intensity of illumination, the fact that this feature can be easily changed (hair can be dyed or get bleached out in the sun), and also by the peculiarities of using paints while painting, conditions of their storage and by the neck height (various position of the head, various subjective perceptions).

   A comparison using the method of masks allows to focus maximum attention on the most significant elements of appearance and their features, in this case the faces are perceived as one.

8И3 Леонардо да Винчи - Портрет матери 8И4 Франческо Мельци - Портрет матери Леонардо да Винчи

   Thus, as a result of the conducted research it is established that coinciding signs of appearance in "Portrait № 1" and "Portrait № 2" are steady, essential, individual, and allow us to reveal a number of private identification signs of appearance and their features intrinsic to one and the same person. The distinctive signs of appearance are small, unstable and explainable. Therefore a conclusion can be drawn that the same person is depicted in both portraits presented for the research.