To Tinseltown stars who turned to him in their quest for physical perfection, pioneering plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy was an artist.

He made the human form his canvas as he became known as the Michelangelo of the scalpel, the Renoir of rhinoplasty and the Botticelli of breast surgery.

Watching him perform, one trainee said it was like “a visit to the Louvre”.

And Elizabeth Taylor , Sophia Loren, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Brigitte Bardot are thought to have been among Brazilian Pitanguy’s finest masterpieces.