SELF-PORTRAITS OF GREAT ARTISTS

     Interestingly, in many scientists' opinion, self-portraits were brought into fashion among artists by Leonardo da Vinci, followed by Michelangelo and Rafaello Santi. Until now the most eccentric supposition concerning da Vinci's self-portrait was that he supposedly painted himself in the form of Mona Lisa.

     According to British art historian Ross King, Leonardo da Vinci portrayed himself twice at "The Last Supper" fresco: as the Apostle Thomas and the Apostle James, son of Alphaeus. 


King compared the portrait of a man in red chalk dated 1515 (widely accepted as a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci) with images of these Apostles and noticed similarity. All persons had a Greek nose, long beard and long unfastened hair. The Apostle Thomas's hold-up finger is also deemed a distinctive gesture of Leonardo.  



    Very little is known about da Vinci's appearance at his young age. Only available is evidence of Giorgio Vasari, Renaissance art historian and author of great artists' biographies, about "rare, extraordinary handsomeness" of Leonardo.  






     It is believed that Michelangelo portrayed himself at a piece of flayed skin held by the Apostle Bartholomew at the "the Judgement Day" fresco in the Sistine Chapel. 


     Rafaello Santi perpetuated himself in the form of Apelles, an artist of ancient Greece, at "The School of Athens" fresco in great halls of Vatican Palace (second right in the lower row).  


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