I recently saw this image on Facebook (source):
Along with a caption:
Pope Alexander lV then ordered the destruction of all art depicting a Semitic Jesus and commissioned a number of paintings depicting a Caucasian Jesus. His son, Cardinal Cesare Borgia, was the model for these paintings. Thus, the nastiest of all the Borgias, became the iconic Caucasian Jesus so loved by Christians today.
Since then, following links has led to three sources that seem to be rather independent of each other: 1, 2, and 3. In particular, the first one has this statement:
Many scholars believe that Cesare Borgia was the basis for some depictions of Jesus that eventually became the standard look that is used until today.
But no source for that claim. The third source has more information that certainly seem to be accurate, and the second has this comparison image:
Hence, I'm willing to believe that the popular modern depiction of Jesus in Western cultures is based off of Cesare Borgia, but I'd like to see more evidence.
Is it true that Cesare Borgia was the model for today's depictions of Jesus?