The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 26, 2016


After Nine Months of Tests, French Scientists Identify Head of France's King Henri IV
In this combination digital image made available by Jean-Noel Vignal and Isabelle Huynh-Charlier Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010, a reconstruction of the face France's King Henri IV is seen, left, and his skull with the reconstruction overlaid is seen at right. After nine months of tests, researchers in France have identified the head of France's King Henry IV, who was assassinated in 1610 aged 57. The scientific tests helped identify the late monarch's embalmed head, which was shuffled between private collections ever since it disappeared during the French Revolution in 1793. AP Photo/Jean-Noel Vignal and Isabelle Huynh-Charlier.

By: Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer

LONDON (AP).- After nine months of tests, researchers in France have identified the head of France's King Henry IV, who was assassinated in 1610 aged 57.

The scientific tests helped identify the late monarch's embalmed head, which was shuffled between private collections ever since it disappeared during the French Revolution in 1793.

The results of the research identifying Henry IV's head were published online Wednesday in the medical journal, BMJ.

Henry IV was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris, but during the frenzy of the French Revolution, the royal graves were dug up and revolutionaries chopped off Henry's head, which was then snatched.

"This case was considered with the same (level of severity) as if it were a recent forensic case," said Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner of University Hospital R Poincare in Garches, France, who led the team.

Charlier and 19 colleagues ran a battery of forensic tests on King Henry IV's head this year.

As one of France's best-loved monarchs, Henry IV was credited with brokering peace between Catholics and Protestants, kick-starting the French economy and building Parisian landmarks including the Pont Neuf bridge and Place des Vosges square. He was the first of the Bourbon monarchs and grandfather of the Sun King Louis XIV.

In the scientists' examinations of the monarch's head, they found features often seen in the king's portraits, including a dark lesion above his right nostril. They also found a healed bone fracture above his upper left jaw, which matched a stab wound the king suffered during an assassination attempt in 1594.

Radiocarbon testing confirmed the head dated from the 17th-century. Charlier and colleagues also compared the embalmed head to an autopsy report describing the particular embalming process used for French kings, written by the king's surgeon. Perfumers on the team used their professionally trained noses to identify specific embalming substances in the mouth used to hide nasty odors.

The French researchers also created a digital facial reconstruction and ran computer tomography scans which showed the skull was consistent with all known portraits of Henry IV and the plaster mold made of his face just after his death.

Frank Ruehli, of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Mummy project said the research was credible but that it would been more persuasive if the French scientists had found DNA evidence.

"They've narrowed it down considerably and it probably is Henry IV," he said. "But without the final DNA proof it is hard to say absolutely who it is." Ruehli was not linked to the research.

Still, Ruehli said the French scientists did the next best thing, by matching evidence of Henry IV's facial lesion and healed wounds to historical documentation of those traits, which were likely unique to the monarch.

The discovery comes at the end of King Henry IV year in France, which marks 400 years since the monarch, also known as the "Green Gallant," was murdered.

Next year, France will hold a national Mass and funeral for Henry IV. His head will then be reburied alongside the rest of the country's former kings and queens, in the Basilica of Saint Denis.



Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.






Today's News

December 16, 2010

Celebrated Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Turns 103, Opens Museum of His Work

Sotheby's Sale of 20th Century British Art Establishes a New Auction World Record

After Nine Months of Tests, French Scientists Identify Head of France's King Henri IV

Restored Masterpiece on View in New Installation at Metropolitan Museum        

Israel Museum and Museum in San Diego Jointly Purchase Ann Lislegaard Video Installation

Robert A. M. Stern Named 2011 Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture Laureate

Currier Museum of Art Adds Major Contemporary Work by Glenn Ligon to Collection

Stunning Watercolour of East Sussex Cottage by Helen Allingham to be Sold at Bonhams

Adam Szymczyk Named 2011 Recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement

Cantor Arts Center's Contemporary Gallery Features New Works and Old Favorites

A Group of Masterpieces from the Besselaar Collection are Sold for $2.8 Million

Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Jar Sells for $7.66 Million at Bonhams & Butterfields

Contemporary Works in Clay from Kansas City Collection Featured in Exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins

Artist Sam Gilliam Creates Site-Specific Work for the Phillips Collection's 90th Anniversary

Rare Desk Clock Steals the Show in Sotheby's Sale of Watches

Stephenson's to Welcome 2011 with Auction of Fine and Decorative Art; Superb Silver and Jewelry

Exhibition Marks Eric Zimmerman's First Solo Museum Show on View at the Austin Museum of Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Works in Wood

The Morris Announces Appointment of New Curator of Education

Heritage Announces "The Savannah Collection" of More than 40,000 Comics Valued at $1 Million to be Auctioned

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on

2.- Tunisian remains found by British researchers prove 100,000-year human presence

3.- Rembrandt's four earliest paintings reunited for the first time at the Ashmolean

4.- Baltimore Museum of Art is one of only two major U.S. museums to feature an installation by transgender artists

5.- Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old human skeleton at Mediterranean shipwreck

6.- Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture

7.- Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs

8.- V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit

9.- Exhibition in Turin celebrates the most important family of Flemish artists

10.- Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful