StumbleUpon, the “discovery search engine,” sends weekly blog post recommendations from sites they think I might enjoy. This particular TED Ideas Worth Spreading video is worth a post, IMHO.  For the record, speakers give talks at TED conferences on all sorts of different subjects spreading ideas as they speak.

 Norwegian portraitist Siegried Woldhek describes (see video below) how he found the  “true face” of Leonardo da Vinci in a “brilliant piece of detective work.”   

“Leonardo Da Vinci’s life and work is well known — but his own face is not. Illustrator and activist Siegfried Woldhek used some thoughtful image-analysis techniques to find what he believes is the true face of Leonardo. Here, he walks viewers through exactly how he did it.

"A brilliant piece of detective work by Siegfried Woldhek"

Woldhek reviewed over 700 pieces drawn by da Vinci to find 120 male portraits. Knowing that self-portraits are drawn in three-quarter profile, he’s able to reduce the selection further. Then he eliminates the ugly people because it’s documented that da Vinci was handsome. So now he’s down to three candidates, all with broad foreheads, horizontal eyebrows, long noses and a small well-developed chin. Based on the years they were created, they also correspond to the age da Vinci would have been at the time.

Lastly, Woldhek establishes that his point of reference for correlation was a bronze statue of David by Verrochio (commissioned by the Medici family) of which Leonardo da Vinci was the model.  Voilà!

by Siegfried Woldhek

Woldhek’s drawn over 1,200 portraits (mostly of Europeans) and his blog, The FACE, is about portraits and how to draw them.