Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reconstructed Historical Portraits

While surfing the Web, I found an interesting site. It is titled Reportret. It is a gallery of reconstructed portraits of key figures from world history. It attempts to do so without anachronisms, respecting contemporary style, and based on historical sources.

There are currently twelve portraits available ranging from Laozi to Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin. Other notables include Jesus of Nazareth, Muhammad, and Charlemagne. In addition to the portrait, there is a brief bio with reasons why the portrait was constructed the way it was. There are also a list of sources to support the rationale.

Not surprisingly, the creator of this portrait has a disclaimer about Muhammad. It is noted, "The portrait of Muhammad wasn't made to offend or harm anyone. Its purpose is neither worship, nor insult. Those who believe that it's forbidden or inappropriate to depict Muhammad can remain loyal to their faith by disregarding the image altogether. Others may not share these beliefs though. The image isn't forced on anyone and there's no obligation to accept it as an authentic portrait. Likewise, one who chooses to do so shouldn't be denied the opportunity to examine and appreciate the image. Finally, it must be stressed that, though based on historical sources, the image was produced from human imagination."

A whois search on the domain reports that this domain was created in 2003. As such, I am a bit disappointed that there are so few portraits. At the same time, I am intrigued by the idea and liked what I saw. I hope this site expands and continues to add good attempts at historical portraits. I respect the fact that this is hard work and I am hopeful more historical figures will appear.

1 comment:

M-Dawg said...

My first thought about the Muhammad portrait: Will it offend Muslims?

Did you notice the author's native language is Dutch?

The site is interesting and hope that the author continues to add to the collection.