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 Reconstruction of Richard's head

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upstartcrow

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PostSubject: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:48 pm

What are people's opinions of the reconstruction of Richard's head. Myself, I don't like it. I think it's too feminine looking, particularly the eyebrows and the rosey cheeks.  Embarassed 
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drajhtoo

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:57 pm

Hard to tell since it looks so different depending on the angle & lighting. I don't find it particularly feminine in most views.
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msallylaw

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:52 am

It was a very surreal experience to look at it .
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Walburga

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:05 am

I think it's the wig that makes him look rather feminine. It's too modern and too obviously a women's do. I understand a good wig is rather expensive, maybe the Society can find some budget to have a wig made based on his portraits.

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Thibault

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:51 am

I don't like the reconstruction overmuch. I guess that years of looking at the NPG portrait gives you a mental picture it is difficult to remove.
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NicolasLeBecheur

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:56 am

It is not his late majesty. Of course the hair, which could be chestnut in high summer, could darken to a blackish-brown in winter, and the complexion, conversely, would darken in summer and become paler in winter. I have an impression that there was more bounce and wave in the hair, the eyes were hazel, and the nose - notoriously the hardest part of a facial reconstruction - less pointed, but more rounded, as in all the portraits. The reconstruction is a rather epicene face, following (I suspect) a dubious logic that skeletal gracility implies a girlish face. This is not the face of a manly man, such as Richard was. Or maybe that's just me?
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Thibault

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:17 am

Well we don't yet know the colour of his eyes, but that information will come from mapping the genome. Same for his hair. There aren't, as far as I know, many contemporary descriptions of him. If he was particularly 'girlish' I would have expected there to have been some comment pre-Tudor times.
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drajhtoo

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:25 am

I keep thinking about the fact that Richard was 12th of 13 children, & his mother was the last of at least 14, & wondering about what calcium stores she had left for another baby by that time.

I do believe Caroline Wilkinson when she says that the reconstruction only took account of the existing portraits when it came time to decide on hair, eye color, & dress. Her group has studied their methods of reconstruction, since they have been critical in forensic work, such as identifying the victims of modern conflict in mass graves.  They have made comparisons of living individuals with their reconstructed faces based on their CT scans as a way of determining where the methods are most reliable & where they may be inaccurate. Of course, measurements of average tissue depths from modern men probably err on the side of too much, especially when applied to a man thought to have been lean, if not drawn.
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Wednesday
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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:29 am

msallylaw wrote:
It was a very surreal experience to look at it .

Surreal good, or surreal bad?

I keep reminding myself it's not an exact replica of how he looked in life. An FBI article discussing reconstruction states outright: "The facial features that are achieved through reconstruction are not expected to be an exact replica of the person to be identified. The success of any facial reconstruction is the reproduction of facial features on a skull that may lead someone to suggest that the face reminds him or her of a particular person."

So at the end of any reconstruction, there will always be room for each of us to see Richard as we will. What the facial reproduction did, I think, was offer another bit of evidence to prove it was him, as the skull resembled the portraits. If I remember correctly, Caroline Wilkinson was surprised it turned out to look so much like the portraits and checked her notes...what was it, three times?...to make sure she got the reconstruction right.

Even when the genome mapping is done, we still won't be able to tell exactly what he looked like, because surely his experiences were etched into his features, as all of ours are? The Yorkshire wind and winters and the years he spent riding in the elements might have given him a less...pampered...look?

For all of that, there are certain photos of the reconstruction, taken at certain angles, that make me smile. For me, the reconstruction is a jumping off point for my imagination. Yes, he was finely built, but I think he must have had more strength and determination in that wiry body of his than any 6'3", 219-lb. man I've met in this century.
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NicolasLeBecheur

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:01 pm

Thibault wrote`; 'Well we don't yet know the colour of his eyes, but that information will come from mapping the genome.  Same for his hair.  There aren't, as far as I know, many contemporary descriptions of him.  If he was particularly 'girlish' I would have expected there to have been some comment pre-Tudor times.`'

- I have said what I have said, so is anyone up for a wager?

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Wednesday
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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:31 pm

NicolasLeBecheur wrote:
Thibault wrote`; 'Well we don't yet know the colour of his eyes, but that information will come from mapping the genome.  Same for his hair.  There aren't, as far as I know, many contemporary descriptions of him.  If he was particularly 'girlish' I would have expected there to have been some comment pre-Tudor times.`'

- I have said what I have said, so is anyone up for a wager?


For his eyes, I'd bet grey-blue, the sort that change according to what he was wearing.

As far as his physical frame, I keep seeing him built like Legolas in the Rings movies. Not like Orlando Bloom, mind you, as the frame is entirely different. I mean the archer's body Bloom built to play the role with broader shoulders and chest, and a slender waist. He took it back down to slouching skinny, flat-butted-boy-from-Kent when the job was over. The Elf moves differently, his whole attitude is different.

I see a Richard determined to protect those he loves, the sort of whipcord warrior who has learned how to wield power: "I don't need a weapon: I am the weapon." I think many who underestimated him because of his size may have lived to regret it...or to appreciate the man they came to know (like the Yorkshiremen who worked with him for 12 years).
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:14 pm

I wouldn't have said feminine, so much, but too young - this is him as he might have looked when he was still baby-faced and just starting to shave, especially if he'd spent the winter eating too many suet puddngs.

Of course, it wasn't done as a portrait of Richard, but as a reconstruction of an average sort of face which might fit those bones, so the bits that you can't derive directly from the skull - the hair, the tip of the nose, the lips etc - are generic. Then they tried to make it Richard by giving it long hair and sticking his hat on it, and it doesn't entirely work. It needs to be leaner and a bit more literally-weather-beaten, and the hair fluffier and more of a hazelnut colour (very like his great-to-the-nth niece Princess Anne's when she was younger). Also, if the colouring of his portraits is accurate he should have a much paler pink-and-white complexion, and more noticeably blue-grey eyes.

I quite like the expression, though - apart from the faint suggestion of a squint. I'm not sure about the eyebrows. Richard's brows in his portraits are very fine but to me they look plucked, so he may well have had them tidied up especially for the portrait, and have been a bit bushier most of the time.

Given that there is a resemblance in bone structure between the portraits of Edward and Richard, this could well be exactly how Edmund - or George - looked.
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msallylaw

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:04 pm

It was surreal in a good way  Very Happy To see (in a fashion ) one of the most notorious & speculated about monarchs, was a once in a lifetime oppitunity.
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janmulrenan

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:45 am

Jan here.
I seem to remember the woman who did the colouring referred to looking at young men, including her son, who spent a lot of time outdoors. I should have checked her name first- apologies. The reconstruction makes me think of the young Gloucester off to give the Countess of Oxford what for. I rather like it but it does vary depending on light & angle. He looks better from the right than the left.
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WhiteSurrey

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PostSubject: Re: Reconstruction of Richard's head   Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:11 am

To be honest I quite liked it, He's got quite a small face but a very masculine jaw and has a very determined look about him  Smile Strangely enough though I went to see him (For the second time) in Gloucester museum, and the hair looked a lot lighter! It could have been due to the lighting in there but to me it looked quite a lot lighter than when i first saw it at Bosworth - did anyone else notice this at all?  Wink
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