Research 2

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Comparison of Leonardo da Vinci’s works "Self-portrait № 2" and "Ecce Homo"

Research № 2. Leonardo da Vinci's "Self-portrait № 2" (on the left) and Leonardo da Vinci’s "Ecce Homo" (on the right) are presented for research. In the first painting a young man, about 15-20 years old, is depicted. In the second one – a middle aged man, about 30-35 years old, is represented against the dark background. In these images, the turn of the head is identical, with a different tilted angle of the head forward, and a different direction of look.



Leonardo da Vinci Self Portrait №2
Leonardo da Vinci Esse Homo


   In this case a comparative research of the people’s appearances, with account for the angle and the features of the images, was carried out using the method of visual comparison by bringing the images to one size with a 19 mm distance between the pupils, discolouring and turning the image in the second painting.

Leonardo da Vinci Self Portrait №2 Leonardo da Vinci Esse Homo



The matching signs of appearance are marked in red in the images below:

Leonardo da Vinci Self Portrait №2 Leonardo da Vinci Esse Homo


Mark 1 – features of the chin (smooth);

Mark 2 – line between the upper and lower lips (wavy), contour line of the lower lip (arc-shaped), lips width (average), height of the upper lip (average);

Mark 3 – position and contour of the nose wings (average, oval), nose tip shape (roundish);

Mark 4 – prominence of the cheekbones;

Mark 5 – shape of the inner corners of the eyes (in the shape of a stretched rod), prominence of under eye bags (average);

Mark 6 – absence of overhanging upper lids,

Mark 7 – interposition of eyebrows (spaced)

Mark 8 – eyebrows shape (arc-shaped), width, length, height of the eyebrows;

Mark 9 – hair colour (brown).


Besides the matching signs there are distinctions marked in blue:

Leonardo da Vinci Self Portrait №2 Leonardo da Vinci Esse Homo

Mark 10 - hair configuration (wavy and curling),tone of hair (light-brown, brown)

Mark 11 – nostril shape;

Mark 12 – presence of a nasal hump;

Mark 13 – features of the forehead, a glabellar line in the shape of the letter "m" in the second painting.

   Taking into account the position of the head, it is impossible to compare the majority of eyes, chin and lips features, and also the fact that the provided images are not an exact portrayal of a person’s appearance (a photograph), but the artist’s subjective vision (perception) with the features of the portrayal of people typical of that historical period, the matching signs of appearance of the people in question are steady and individual and quite sufficient for a conclusion that one and the same person is presented in the provided paintings during different time periods. The distinctive signs can be explained by the use of various artistic devices, subjective portrayal of people, changes through time in people’s appearances.