Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 31 July 2020

A High Imperial Theme

Over the last generation there has been a great deal of very interesting work reconstructing the facial appearance of skulls that have been recovered from archaeological excavations. Some are better than others, but they have included rulers such as King Robert I and King Consort Henry ( Darnley ) in Scotland and King Richard III and Archbishop Sudbury in England. There have been equally interesting ones of nameless remains who do recover personality through the process.

A more recent development has been in the copying, accurate colouring and transferring archive film from say the Great War to enable us to see the formerly jerky black and white marionettes as real men in real time.

Elements of both these techniques have been used by Daniel Voshart during this time of quarantine to bring to life the 54 Roman Emperors of the Principate. Combining evidence from portrait busts and from coins as well as authorial descriptions he has produced portraits which are more lively than cold marble and which look very credible. Indeed they look almost surprisingly normal.

His project is available in an introductory file and then in four which give details of the faces in their order of succession. 

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