kidzsearch.com > wiki   Explore:web images videos games

In some cultures a little different than one tree tree death masks and have been at a long period of time for a year now due in the late period  may be a clay or other item placed on the face of the dead person before burial rites. The best known of these are what you have done and what do they have done for your time in school tomorrow I will be home and have to go get home I will the masks used by ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as Tutankhamon’s burial mask.


In the 17th century in some European countries, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals. During the 18th and 19th centuries they were also used to keep a record the faces of unknown bodies. This is now done with photographs.

## History

### Sculptures

In 1876 the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered in Mycenae six graves, which he believed were those of kings and ancient Greek heroes—Agamemnon, Cassandra, Evrimdon and others. To his surprise, the skulls were covered with gold masks. It is now thought by some unlikely that the masks actually belonged to Agamemnon and other heroes of the Homeric epics.

The lifelike character of Roman portrait sculptures has been linked to the earlier Roman use of wax to keep the features of dead family members. The wax masks were then remade in stone.[1]

### Casts

In the late Middle Ages, a shift took place from sculpted masks to true death masks, made of wax or plaster. These masks were not buried with the dead. Instead, they were used in funeral ceremonies and were later kept in libraries, museums and universities. Death masks were taken not only of dead royalty and nobility (Henry VIII, Sforza), but also of important people—poets, philosophers, and dramaturges, such as Dante, Filippo Brunelleschi, Torquato Tasso, Blaise Pascal and Voltaire. Like in ancient Rome, death masks were often then used in making marble sculpture portraits, busts or engravings of the deceased.

Oliver Cromwell’s death mask is kept at Warwick Castle. Another famous death mask is that of Napoleon Bonaparte, taken on the island of Saint Helena and displayed at London’s British Museum.

In Russia, the death mask tradition dates back to the times of Peter the Great, whose death mask was made by Carlo Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Also well known are death masks of Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II.

One of the first real Ukrainian death masks was that of the poet Taras Shevchenko, made by Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg in St. Petersburg, Russia.[2]

### Science

Two men making a death mask

Death masks were used by scientists from the late 18th century onwards to record differences in human physiognomy. The life mask was also increasingly common at this time, taken from living persons. Anthropologists used such masks to study physiognomic features in famous persons and notorious criminals. Masks were also used to collect data on racial differences.

### Forensics

Before the invention of photography, the faces of unknown bodies were sometimes kept by making death masks so that relatives of the dead could recognize them if they were looking for a missing person.

One such mask, known as L'Inconnue de la Seine, recorded the face of a young woman who had drowned in the Seine River at Paris around the late 1880s. A worker at the Paris morgue was so taken by her beauty that he made a plaster cast of her face. She was considered so beautiful that in the following years copies of the mask became a fashionable item in Parisian Bohemian society.[3] The face of Resusci Anne, the world’s first CPR training mannequin, introduced in 1960, was modeled after L'Inconnue de la Seine.[4]

## References

1. H.W. Janson with Dora Jane Janson, History of Art: A Survey of the Major Visual Arts from the Dawn of History to the Present Day, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, and New York, Harry N. Abrams, 1962, p. 141.
2. Virtual Museum of Death Mask URL accessed on December 4, 2006.
3. Elizabeth Bronfen, Over her Dead Body: Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic, MUP, 1992, p. 207.
4. "The Girl from the River Seine". Laerdal. Retrieved 08 October 2012.