Death mask - Patinated plaster - Belgium - 19th century


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Death mask - Patinated plaster - Belgium - 19th century

Rare 19th century death mask made of patinated plaster. Includes wooden stand.

Ancient civilizations, such as those of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, already used to make a cast of the human face, dead or alive, in wax or plaster. This cast served as a model for the sculptor to make a portrait in stone. The masks were also used at the funeral of a deceased monarch or as a reminder of an ancestor. Until the Middle Ages, these death masks were mainly made of monarchs and church dignitaries.

But from the 17th century onwards, death masks of scientists, writers, composers and other artists were also made. Even though the masks were made after death, they still give an impression of great intimacy and closeness even after all this time. A special experience, especially when it concerns famous or admired people. It is therefore not without reason that death masks of 'celebrities' became a popular collector's item in the 18th century. A custom that remained in force in the 19th century, but decreased considerably in number. The most important historical death masks in this style included those of Ludwig von Beethoven and Dante Alighieri.

Status report: In good condition
Dimensions: 22x19x15cm
Weight: 3kg

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