Death Masks Of The Famous

skinny

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#1
This site, The Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks, exposes the faces of many historical figures in a way that portraiture fails to capture. Those who were photographed, such as Lincoln, don't need their mortal images confirmed. However those who lived prior to photography are given a new lease of life, as it were, by the plaster casting of their faces immediately after death, or well after death (as in the case of skulls e.g. Robert I of Scotland) or in life (life masks). I get a real sense of their personal character in the faces represented, and, prompted to do some shallow research on Wikipedia, discovered many I had never heard of before. I wish there were more.

Link: http://library.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/C0770/index.html

Sample: Oliver Cromwell

ex65.jpg

If you have any other sites such as this, please link them here.
 
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liveinabin

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#2
I live near Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich and I seem to recall it having John Constable's death mask. Couldn't find it last time I went though.
 

McAvennie

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#3
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Maviself

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#4
I'm pretty sure that Walmer castle in Kent has the death mask of Wellington along with his famous boots.
 

MadameB

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#6
This wax replica of Swedish king Gustaf III's death mask is rather creepy, I think, It was up for auction recently but didn't sell (can't understand why...)

gustavlll.se/#0.2
Link is dead. Website is MIA. No archived version found.
The replica mentioned here can't be identified on the Web. Here's a photo of the original.


c89325900ecd8f209f1a3aa7afdc9659.jpg

A portrait of the man, for comparison: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Sweden.jpg
 
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JamesWhitehead

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#8
Another good collection here
Link is dead, and the website is MIA. The MIA webpage (with photos) can still be accessed via the Wayback Machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/2015121....com:80/life-and-death-masks-of-famous-people

A good topic that I did not notice when it first appeared.

I remember reading that many so-called death-masks are indeed life-masks, which were very painful to sit for - so the wincing expression was not necessarily a death-pang.

Both a life and death mask of Beethoven is given on that page and I don't recall ever having seen the wasted-looking death-mask before. Nor had I seen Alfred Hitchcock's death-mask.

I am not very convinced by the Shakespeare example, though.

For the record the page contains:
Hitchcock, Napoleon, Lenin, Lincoln, Newton, Beethoven, Nobel, Keats, Tolstoy, Himmler, Franklin, Joyce, 'Shakespeare', Washington, Dilinger & L'inconnue de la Seine.

Very haunting. :)
 
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escargot

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#9
Saw some in the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg a year or so ago, must have a look through my snaps for them.
 

EnolaGaia

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#10
... I remember reading that many so-called death-masks are indeed life-masks, which were very painful to sit for - so the wincing expression was not necessarily a death-pang. ...
Yes ... It is unfortunately common for life masks to be presented on the Web mislabeled as death masks.

... Nor had I seen Alfred Hitchcock's death-mask. ...
Since you mentioned it, here's Hitchcock's death mask.

hitcock.jpg
 

James_H

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#15
Wonderful thread. Dante's looks idealised - either that or he looked like a cartoon character in real life.

I saw a very affecting exhibition somewhere in the Mississippi Delta about 7 years ago which was hundreds of death masks of slaves - I can't find anything about it online.
 
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