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Rome Reports

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Faces of Roman emperors are being reconstructed using latest technology

This is a depiction of Emperor Nero, who began the persecution that led St. Peter to martyrdom.

This is Trajan, the emperor-soldier who is known for having expanded the empire’s borders.

This is Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher.

Canadian artist Daniel Voshart has applied the latest technology to statues of emperors to reconstruct their faces. He explains that the current coronavirus pandemic led him to launch this project.  

“So I chose to do this project because, in Canada, the coronavirus led to a shortage of employment opportunity. Anyone who wasn't an essential worker was laid off, essentially. So I work in the film industry, and the film industry could not film, and so I had no work opportunities and had a lot of free time. In that free time, I decided to learn some software.”

Daniel considers his work to be more artistic than scientific, although he consulted hundreds of historical references for better accuracy.

It’s a closer approach to reality in which he also took the opportunity of deciding the color of the eyes and hair of these Roman emperors.

Eventually, he had to make some changes after consulting experts.

“I received a lot of positive feedback. I'd say most of it was positive, but some of it was negative, and some of the negative feedback was really quite accurate. Like someone pointed out bad sourcing, and so, for the second version of a lot of the emperors, I had communicated with academics or people who are very familiar with a particular emperor.”

Daniel has recreated 54 faces of Roman emperors. They were the rulers who governed between 27 BC and 285 AD. They were the most powerful men of their time. These are the faces of the people whose decisions shaped the future of western society. 

Javier Romero

Translation: Christian Campos