Scientists have created a ‘true’ image of Bach’s face

18 February 2020, 10:29 | Updated: 18 February 2020, 11:00

By Kyle Macdonald

We’ve all seen the paintings, but what did the great J.S. Bach look like in real life?

Back in 2008, experts digitally rebuilt the face of the great 18th-century composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Using the composer’s skull and computer modelling, they have come up with an image of a thick-set man with closely-cropped grey hair.

So, is this the true face of the greatest composer of all time? Here he is next to most famous painting made of the Baroque composer, a portrait made in 1748 by Elias Gottlob Haussmann.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach. Picture: Centre for Forensic and Medical Art in Dundee

The project was commissioned by The Bach House in Eisenach, and was led by Scottish forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson from the Centre for Forensic and Medical Art in Dundee.

In the modelling, the great organist and composer is shown with his neatly cropped grey hair, expressive eyebrows, well-rounded cheeks, and eyes so dark and dreamy that you can literally hear Air on the G String if you stare at them long enough.

Reconstruction of Bach's face
Reconstruction of Bach's face. Picture: Getty
Reconstruction of Bach's face
Bach in real life? Picture: Getty

Bravo to these researchers. Bach’s music brings joy to millions over the centuries, and we love every opportunity to learn about what the great musician would have been like in the flesh.

The face of Bach
The face of Bach. Picture: Centre for Forensic and Medical Art in Dundee