Robespierre gets 3D makeover, possible diagnosis

PARIS (AP) — A pair of researchers who gave the French revolutionary Robespierre a disputed 3D makeover say it’s possible the man best known for unleashing the Terror may have had an autoimmune disorder.

Using a death mask that some historians believe was taken by Madame Tussaud herself just after Maximilian de Robespierre was guillotined, the researchers constructed a pockmarked, malevolent face that bears little resemblance to portraits of the revolutionary leader.

Researchers Philippe Charlier and Philippe Froesh, in a letter in the British journal Lancet published Friday, said their review of the death mask and descriptions of Robespierre’s ailments by contemporaries indicate he could have had sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disorder that was first recognized in 1877, nearly 100 years after the revolution.

Some historians question the mask’s authenticity. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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