San Martín, from 3 to 70 years old: the video that reconstructs his true face and how he changed from childhood to old age

In Concordia, Entre Ríos, they exhibit an art exhibition where the evolution of the face of San Martín is observed

When studying the exploits of José de San Martín, most of the illustrations that appear in books and the silhouettes that the statues exhibit and the moments show him as a man still young, about 30 to 40 years old. There is no graphic material from his childhood and very little from his old age. However, the portrait of the elderly Saint Martin -for the canons of the time- is both the most faithful, since it is the only photograph -daguerreotype- that was taken of the Liberator, two years before his death. In fact, they are two shots taken on the same occasion: in one, San Martín is seated in the usual pose of portraits of the time, one arm on the chair and the other inside his coat; in the other shot, both arms are in view.

From that image, of documentary value, the graphic artist Ramiro Ghigliazza, who made a humanized visual reconstruction of the face from San Martin back in time. It is a hyper-realistic approach to his features, which is now exhibited in an exhibition inaugurated the ue takes place from June 10 at the Magma Foundation, in Concordia, Entre Ríos and what can be seen until the 19th of this month.

The sample, calledSan Martín: The reconstruction of his face”. It will tour different parts of Argentina and Europe and will be free of charge. There, visitors will be able to appreciate the surprising images that reconstruct the features of a San Martín who had reached the age of 70 based on a daguerreotype dated between 1846 and 1848, for each stage, the designer covers the images with real features of people chosen in a casting with characteristics similar to the original portrait.

The daguerreotype taken between 1946 and 1948: the only photograph of José de San Martín

In a video made for this purpose, Ghigliazza shows how the Liberator’s face evolved from the year 1781, in Yapeyú, when San Martín, born in 1778, was 3 years old, until his death. As of 1813, the year following the return of the future hero to the homeland, modifies his jovial face for an older onein 1820 he began to wear sideburns and then show off with gray hair and finally with a mustache.

All of these changes were made through a digital assembly process of different parts of the face of different models, in which the creator invests long months of study and use of Photoshop.

To make it, started from a portrait that Saint Martin himself kept in his room in Boulogne-sur-Mer and from the testimony of his contemporaries. The image is built from the choice of a skull, forehead, eyebrows, hair, complexion, look, facial tissues, gestures and expressions that make the most suitable representation.

Among its most characteristic features are the shape of its nosea very pronounced mark at the height of the frown and one scar on left cheek that presumably would come from a wound suffered by the Liberator in the battle of San Lorenzo.

It is an artisan process, of assembling features, lightening shadows, delineating structures, volumes, lines and cuts in which the areas that serve are modeled and those that do not are discarded.

The president of the Laser Foundation, Mariel Ávila;  and from the Magna Foundation, Osvaldo Pérez, toured the exhibition in Concordia "San Martín: The reconstruction of his face"by Ramiro Ghigliazza
The president of the Laser Foundation, Mariel Ávila; and from the Magna Foundation, Osvaldo Pérez, toured in Concordia the exhibition “San Martín: The reconstruction of his face”, by Ramiro Ghigliazza

The graphic designer and artist Ramiro Ghigliazza explained that those who visit the exhibition “are going to go through the history of San Martín and they are also going to imagine it a little bit.” He said that visitors will not only be able to appreciate the stage of the crossing of the Andes and its combats, but also imagine him as a child and adolescent. And he remembered: “For example, in London he goes and looks for his saber to return to his land.”

“The intention of this is to inspire many boys, many children, adolescents and adults to continue inspiring us because he was a very noble person, very simple, austere”said the artist. And referencing images showing him as a child, he added: “It is a bit humanizing the great father of the country.”

For his part, the president of the Magna Foundation, Osvaldo Perez, He thanked the Iapser Foundation for its support in bringing the exhibition to Concordia: “It makes us extremely proud knowing the historical, cultural and educational value it will have.”

While schools will be able to visit it during the week, on weekends it will be open to the public. “We are very happy to accompany the Magma Foundation and the Iapser Foundation in this exhibition that is unprecedented and fantastic”, said the president of Iapser, Thomas Proske.

From the Laser Foundation they said that it is a new way of showing the heroes and knowing how to bring them closer to the boys to be able to teach history. “In this sample we see the face of San Martín not as in the monuments or in the formality of the books, but through a whole process that humanizes him”, they highlighted.


Three views on José de San Martín
Intimate San Martín: portrait of a jovial, seductive and prankish dark-haired man who played the guitar and thought he painted well