London: Scientists have created the first true image of William Shakespeare -- with help from the latest 3D computer technology.
The likeness depicts every wrinkle on the Bard`s face, whose haunted stare is unlike that of any other existing images.
The unflattering image is featured in a TV documentary called `Death Masks`, scheduled for screening on History Channel on September 13, the Daily Mail reports.
Documentary director Stuart Clarke said: "The results from this forensic examination are startling.”
"They show strong evidence both forensically and historically that this 3D model may be, in fact, the way Shakespeare looked in life."
Clarke`s team have also produced 3D likenesses of Napoleon, Julius Caesar, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
They are based on scans taken from death masks and in some cases masks made during life.
The producers of the show claim that the images will challenge viewers` perceptions of what some of history`s most famous figures looked like.
Napoleon`s image is said to be unlike that of which the French have become accustomed to while the `real` face of Washington is nothing like his image on the dollar bill.
But the recreation of the Bard image seems to be heading for the most controversy.
His true likeness has been shrouded in speculation for centuries, and many experts dispute that the death mask used in the programme is Shakespeare`s.
It was found in Darmstadt, Germany, in the 1840s and German scientists linked it to Shakespeare after carrying out a series of tests.
They say it proves the writer suffered from cancer towards the end of his life.
Forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson insisted there were `a large number of consistencies` between the 3D image and portraits of the writer.
First Published: Sunday, September 05, 2010, 14:03