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Added by Wetzneer on 9 Feb 2018 03:42

Historical Faces (Death Masks)

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c. 1265 - September 1321 (aged c. 56)

A recreated death mask of Dante Alighieri in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

A portrait of Dante, c. 1465

4 January 1643 - 31 March 1727 (aged 84)

Original cast by John Michael Rysbrack. Many copies of this mask were made and distributed and were especially prized by the Trinity Scholars of Cambridge University.

Newton's painting

Wetzneer's rating:

Reputedly taken after post mortem by Josef Dannhauser. Beethoven suffered from ill health throughout the later stages of his life and the comparison with his life mask, taken in 1812, is startling.

Beethoven's Life Mask

Average listal rating (61 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Death mask of the greatest Electrical Engineer ever can be viewed at the Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, Serbia.

Taken by British intelligence officials as a proof of his death after he bit into a cyanide pill hidden in a molar cavity. Currently on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.
Average listal rating (46 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0

“Dictateur Sanguinaire” and the most influential figure of the French Revolution. Taken by Madame Tussaud from his freshly guillotined head.

Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French. Original cast created on 7th May, 1821, one and a half day after his death on the island of St. Helena. Only four copies of the original cast have been verified has genuine.

Facial reconstruction of Napoleon based on his Death Mask.

Wetzneer's rating:

Death masks are fascinating but slightly terrifying relics from an age before photos. Until cameras rendered them redundant, it was common for notable people to have metal, wax or plaster applied to their face when they had died, creating a “death mask”. These gruesome artifacts exist for some of history’s most famous figures, from soldiers, to artists and even evil dictators…

The idea of creating a death mask harks back to the time of ancient Egyptians. It was believed during this period that by taking an impression of a deceased person’s face, the spirit would be able to find its body in the afterlife.

For centuries to follow, death masks would remain popular, yet be used for a myriad of reasons. Masks would be taken of unknown faces in the hopes of identification, for scientists to note changes in human physiognomy, as a reference on which to base portraits, and for the simple purpose of honoring the deceased.

In some African and Native American tribes, death masks continue to be an important spiritual item. Some believe that the masks facilitate communication between this world and the after-world during funerary rites.

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30 votes
Listalmania (103 lists)
list by milica
Published 5 years, 11 months ago 5 comments

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