Afflication of the "Ugly Duchess" indentified

The painting entitled "Old Woman," but better known as the "Ugly Duchess," is one of the most popular in London's National Gallery. It depicts the face of a grotesquely-featured woman, and was painted by Flemish artist Quinten Massys in 1513. Now, experts believe that they have identified the illness suffered by this woman as a rare form of Paget's disease, which deforms the bones. (photo)

The portrait, either inspired by or copied by Da Vinci, is a centerpiece of the museum's Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian exhibit which runs October 15, 2008-January 18, 2009. It is also supposed to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice illustrator John Tenniel's creation of the Duchess.