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Leonardo da Vinci's Aesthetic Analysis of Nasal Tip Prominence

Farhad B. Naini, BDS, MSc, FDSRCS, MOrthRCS, FDSOrthRCS
Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2012;14(6):463-464. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2012.855.
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Aesthetic nasal evaluation requires the nose to be analyzed both as an independent facial unit and in terms of its size, morphologic characteristics, and position relative to its neighboring facial structures and the entire craniofacial complex. Nasal tip projection describes an actual change in the distance from nasal ala to tip, that is, the alar-tip distance. If there is increased tip projection, the nasal tip extends an excessive distance from the face and is perceived as disproportionately prominent.

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Figure 1. Baud's “facial circle.”8 A line from the tragion to the pronasale forms the radius of a circular arc; ideally, the trichion (hairline) and soft-tissue pogonion (anterior projection of the chin) should be located on the path of this arc. Assuming normal forehead and chin position, if the nasal tip falls outside this circle it is considered to be overprojected. Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2011 Farhad B. Naini and Wiley-Blackwell.

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Figure 2. The facial circle method as depicted by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Folio 2 (back) and folio 3 (front) from Manuscript A (circa 1490-1492); detail from folio 2 (“profile of human head”) highlighted. Interestingly, as well as the arc from the ear to the nasal tip, there is also a fainter arc from the ear to the glabellar region. 21.3 × 14.8 cm. Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France, Paris, France. Reproduced with kind permission from Reunion des Musees Nationaux, Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France. Copyright 2012 Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France.




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