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Gaunt, bearded face of King Henry VII recreated in stunning detail using his ‘death mask’

THE FACE of British King Henry VII has been recreated in creepily realistic detail.

The death mask of the father of infamous Henry VIII was used to create this impressive look into the past.

King Henry VII died back in 1509 and his son Henry VIII became the ruler of England and had many wives.

Back in the Tudor times, when important people died wax masks would be made to preserve their likeness.

Graphic artist Matt Loughrey used Henry’s VII’s death mask impression details and added natural colours to bring the image to life.

Loughrey told Live Science: “Death masks are like a conduit to another time — they’re like a wormhole.

“Photography’s been around for a very short time, but there’s technology in place here that can take us back thousands of years, to see faces we’ve only imagined.”

Henry VII is famed for defeating King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

He then ascended to the throne in 1485.

He married his third cousin,  Elizabeth of York.

This resulted in the creation of the Tudor rose emblem as Henry’s Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York were combined.

After Elizabeth and his first son Arthur died he tried to marry his son’s widow Catherine of Aragon.

However, Catherine’s mother wasn’t happy about this and it was decided that Catherine would marry the much younger Henry VIII.

Henry VII died at the age of 53, having suffered from asthma and gout.

He was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

A sculpture of him was carried by mourners with a face likely based on the death mask.

Loughrey spent about two months making manual adjustments on software to create his reconstruction.

He started out with a high-resolution image of the wax death mask and then used a special type of software called photogrammetry to make the 2D image 3D.

Loughrey told Live Science: “In photogrammetry, we can get a really good idea of positioning for the simpler things, like cheekbones, [eye] orbits, upper jaw.

“The tonality of the skin is basically painting, it’s all done by hand in layers.”

He then added the hair, facial markings and lighting manually and using algorithms.

Loughrey even chose to keep potential flaws in the death mask including a wandering right eye and a smudged eyebrow.

The death mask did depict a clean shaven Henry VII but men during his era were usually bearded.

Some scholars thing he was shaven so the death mask wax could be applied.

Loughrey created a bearded and non-bearded version of the old king because we’ll never know for sure.

The artist has also created other facial reconstructions of historic figures including Oliver Cromwell and George Washington.

He is the founder of My Colorful Past, a project that brings incredible individuals from the past back to life.

More of Loughrey’s restorations can be seen on the My Colourful Past Instagram page.

In other archaeology news, the skeleton of a 300,000-year-old elephant with giant tusks has been unearthed in Germany.

Four ‘blank’ fragments of the infamous ancient Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed hidden text.

And, the oldest bones of modern humans ever found in Europe have been discovered in a Bulgarian cave.

What are your thoughts on this Henry VII recreation? Let us know in the comments…

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