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Bluevanillalady
Bluevanillalady
Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 8:25 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 8:25 AM EST
I found this really cool site today when I was...working (ahem on the internet). It is pictures of a bunch of different death masks..there was one of Elizabeth I & Mary Queen of Scotts I beleive...well they are neat to look at anyway.

http://libweb.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/C0770/index.html
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Keyword tags: death masks
Bluevanillalady
Bluevanillalady
1. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 8:27 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 8:27 AM EST
Here is another one too...

http://www.deathmask.kiev.ua/en_ver/intro.html
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beardedlady
beardedlady
2. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 11:12 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 11:12 AM EST
Thanks for the link! I didn’t know that there was one big gory site full of death masks. To think what people will do with their spare time. This must have taken forever to pull together! I put some info about death masks in my book and I have also written about them on my blog. I have to remember to add this link. My favorite is Marat’s death mask. Sheesh... he creeps me out.

More here: http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/10/death-masks.html
And here: http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/10/creepy-rumor-of-month.html

Btw, Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth’s death masks are not really “death masks” as in impressions of the face taken at the time of death. These masks are really funeral effigies. Totally different. Funeral effigies are idealized sculptures vs. death mask really show us what someone looked like.

And there I go again. Boooooooo, Being a party wrecker. Haha but they are fun to look at. I just think the ones that are REAL death masks are the most interesting. I have yet to find a real Tudor death mask. Looking now for one...
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beardedlady
beardedlady
3. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 11:17 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 11:17 AM EST
Nope. I looked. Not a single Tudor death mask. Ah well. If anyone knows of one then I would love to see it. 2  out of 3 found this valuable. Do you?    
Bluevanillalady
Bluevanillalady
4. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 11:26 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 11:26 AM EST
I thought something looked different about a couple of the masks...that would explain it....there are definetly some creepy ones though...I guess no creepier than in the late 19th cent when photo's got big and people were taking pictures of their dead relatives....Could you imagine...then there was the great hobby around the same time were collecting coffin plaques was big...display all your dead family members stats on your fireplace mantel....I guess it's a good conversation piece. 1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
Bluevanillalady
Bluevanillalady
5. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 11:29 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 11:29 AM EST
I found this quote on line just now:
"A modern scholarly authority on the history of death masks has said that there is no evidence of genuine death masks being taken or made for any of the Tudors except Henry VII. And none are known to have survived. (see "Undying Faces: A Collection of Death Masks" by Georg Kolbe and Margaret Green)"

I found it at this website:

http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:cxtkNEEL9U8J:tudorhistory.org/queryblog/2008/10/question-from-elizabeth-death-masks.html+tudor+death+mask&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca
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beardedlady
beardedlady
6. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 1:47 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 1:47 PM EST
Yep. read that book. I was kind of hoping Kolbe and Green were wrong. Francis I had a death mask taken at his death. It seems so strange that England wouldn't follow the same practice. 2  out of 3 found this valuable. Do you?    
angelosdaughter
angelosdaughter
7. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 9:52 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 9:52 PM EST
"Thanks for the link! I didn’t know that there was one big gory site full of death masks. To think what people will do with their spare time. This must have taken forever to pull together! I put some info about death masks in my book and I have also written about them on my blog. I have to remember to add this link. My favorite is Marat’s death mask. Sheesh... he creeps me out.

More here: http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/10/death-masks.html
And here: http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/10/creepy-rumor-of-month.html

Btw, Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth’s death masks are not really “death masks” as in impressions of the face taken at the time of death. These masks are really funeral effigies. Totally different. Funeral effigies are idealized sculptures vs. death mask really show us what someone looked like.

And there I go again. Boooooooo, Being a party wrecker. Haha but they are fun to look at. I just think the ones that are REAL death masks are the most interesting. I have yet to find a real Tudor death mask. Looking now for one...
"
The value of death masks is in helping art historians to discern how much the artistic representations of the actual persons are true to life. Several of the funeral effigies were cast or molded from death masks, in particular, the effigy of Henry VII. The evidence for it having been based on a death mask is the clotting of the eybrow hair of the left eybrow caused by the grease used to keep the plaster from sticking to the face of the King. Anthony Harvey and Richard Mortimer in their book "The Funeral Effigies of Westminster Abbey" give further proof that the face of the effigy was cast from a death mask on pp. 52-53. Several extant representations of Henry VII resemble the effigy. In fact, the funeral effigy in the Undercroft Museum of Westiminster Abbey was badly damaged in WWII,. and the nose was destroyed. The restorers used the terra cotta bust of the King (also thought to have been cast from the death mask) by Torreggiano for their reconstruction of the nose, The head of the effigy is all that survives today. There is in the collection an effigy of the young Edmund Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, who died in Rome at the age of 19. He is laid in his robes on a coffin board. The effigy is enclosed in glass. The hands and head were modeled in wax after death. He is so realistic that one feels as though he is in the presence of the actual body. He was the younger son of Katherine, Duchess of Buckingham illegitimate daughter of James II. Effigies of Katherine and her older son, Robert, Marquis of Normanby who died at age 3, stand nearby. Katharine's face was also modelled from a death mask. The faces of several other effigies including those of Katherine of Valois and Edward III are also based on death masks.
I had visited the Undercroft Museum collection of funeral effigies when I was in London and really wanted to read more about them. I was thrilled to find this book.
which I ordered from Barnes and Noble.
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angelosdaughter
angelosdaughter
8. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 9:52 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 9:52 PM EST
"I found this really cool site today when I was...working (ahem on the internet). It is pictures of a bunch of different death masks..there was one of Elizabeth I & Mary Queen of Scotts I beleive...well they are neat to look at anyway.

http://libweb.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/C0770/index.html"
Thanks for that link, Bluevanillalady. I'll check it out. This stuff fascinates me.
1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
angelosdaughter
angelosdaughter
9. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 10:26 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 10:26 PM EST
"I found this really cool site today when I was...working (ahem on the internet). It is pictures of a bunch of different death masks..there was one of Elizabeth I & Mary Queen of Scotts I beleive...well they are neat to look at anyway.

http://libweb.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/C0770/index.html"
I checked out all of the links. One thing I noticed is that very few are of women. The Russian site had the most (about 5) I guess they just didn't think women were worth memorializing.
By the way, the reason for making life/death masks and later photographing the dead was that until the advent of our modern media and mass produciton of photographs, there was really no other way for the grieving family to keep an image of the deceased. That mask or daguerrotype was the only image ever made of the person, in some ways, the only proof that that person had existed..
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angelosdaughter
angelosdaughter
10. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 10:32 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 10:32 PM EST
"Yep. read that book. I was kind of hoping Kolbe and Green were wrong. Francis I had a death mask taken at his death. It seems so strange that England wouldn't follow the same practice."
Henry VIII had such a horror of death that it is unlikely that he would want to have any tokens of it reproduced.
It does seem that Henry VII was the only Tudor effigy to have been produced from a death mask. The face of Elizabeth's effigy was cast from the effigy on her tomb. Mary I's effigy was of shoddy workmanship (probably an indication of the low esteem in which she was held at the time of her death, and the haphazard manner of her burial) and it is unknown, because the face is so damaged, how much it resembled her or if it was taken from an actual mask.
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angelosdaughter
angelosdaughter
11. RE: Death Masks
Dec 17 2008, 10:35 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 17 2008, 10:35 PM EST
"The value of death masks is in helping art historians to discern how much the artistic representations of the actual persons are true to life. Several of the funeral effigies were cast or molded from death masks, in particular, the effigy of Henry VII. The evidence for it having been based on a death mask is the clotting of the eybrow hair of the left eybrow caused by the grease used to keep the plaster from sticking to the face of the King. Anthony Harvey and Richard Mortimer in their book "The Funeral Effigies of Westminster Abbey" give further proof that the face of the effigy was cast from a death mask on pp. 52-53. Several extant representations of Henry VII resemble the effigy. In fact, the funeral effigy in the Undercroft Museum of Westiminster Abbey was badly damaged in WWII,. and the nose was destroyed. The restorers used the terra cotta bust of the King (also thought to have been cast from the death mask) by Torreggiano for their reconstruction of the nose, The head of the effigy is all that survives today. There is in the collection an effigy of the young Edmund Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, who died in Rome at the age of 19. He is laid in his robes on a coffin board. The effigy is enclosed in glass. The hands and head were modeled in wax after death. He is so realistic that one feels as though he is in the presence of the actual body. He was the younger son of Katherine, Duchess of Buckingham illegitimate daughter of James II. Effigies of Katherine and her older son, Robert, Marquis of Normanby who died at age 3, stand nearby. Katharine's face was also modelled from a death mask. The faces of several other effigies including those of Katherine of Valois and Edward III are also based on death masks.
I had visited the Undercroft Museum collection of funeral effigies when I was in London and really wanted to read more about them. I was thrilled to find this book.
which I ordered from Barnes and Noble. "
Death masks also help in determining the cause of death of historical figures in some cases. In the case of Edward III, the turning down of his mouth at one corner is said to indicate that he died from a stroke.
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offwithherhead
12. RE: Death Masks
Dec 18 2008, 1:25 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2008, 1:25 AM EST
"The value of death masks is in helping art historians to discern how much the artistic representations of the actual persons are true to life. Several of the funeral effigies were cast or molded from death masks, in particular, the effigy of Henry VII. The evidence for it having been based on a death mask is the clotting of the eybrow hair of the left eybrow caused by the grease used to keep the plaster from sticking to the face of the King. Anthony Harvey and Richard Mortimer in their book "The Funeral Effigies of Westminster Abbey" give further proof that the face of the effigy was cast from a death mask on pp. 52-53. Several extant representations of Henry VII resemble the effigy. In fact, the funeral effigy in the Undercroft Museum of Westiminster Abbey was badly damaged in WWII,. and the nose was destroyed. The restorers used the terra cotta bust of the King (also thought to have been cast from the death mask) by Torreggiano for their reconstruction of the nose, The head of the effigy is all that survives today. There is in the collection an effigy of the young Edmund Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, who died in Rome at the age of 19. He is laid in his robes on a coffin board. The effigy is enclosed in glass. The hands and head were modeled in wax after death. He is so realistic that one feels as though he is in the presence of the actual body. He was the younger son of Katherine, Duchess of Buckingham illegitimate daughter of James II. Effigies of Katherine and her older son, Robert, Marquis of Normanby who died at age 3, stand nearby. Katharine's face was also modelled from a death mask. The faces of several other effigies including those of Katherine of Valois and Edward III are also based on death masks.
I had visited the Undercroft Museum collection of funeral effigies when I was in London and really wanted to read more about them. I was thrilled to find this book.
which I ordered from Barnes and Noble. "
Thanks angelosdaughter for all this info...very interesting!! You are a wealth of information! And thanks to Bluevanillalady and beardedlady (love that name) for the sites. I checked them out and although I found them creepy to look at, it was like that trainwreck thing...you don't want to look, but you can't keep yourself from looking. LOL. I do have a question though...some of the masks were noted to be taken in life....how did they do them?....because I can't imagine what they would have used to forge them...wax (ouch), plaster (did they have that back then), clay??? What would they use on a live person? Would appreciate any info. :)
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beardedlady
beardedlady
13. RE: Death Masks
Dec 18 2008, 4:19 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2008, 4:19 AM EST
If you go to my blog and read the steps to make a 16th century death mask – that is how they were made in the 16th century. Madame Tussaud used a different method. I am doing a post on her in a few weeks.

More here: http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/10/death-masks.html

The purpose of life masks in the 16th century was to capture the likeness of a person so that a portrait could be made. They were not viewed of works of art themselves and were often destroyed after they were taken. A death mask of Mary Queen of Scots would NEVER have been saved for obvious reasons - people would view it as a saints relic and it could be copied. In the 16th century, it was believed that a monarch's body had the power to work miracles before it was burried. death masks and even portraiture were believed to act as a surrogate for the person. So superstitious.

The royal effigies at the Undercroft Museum are really fascinating. I went there during my research. Although they do not have Henry VII's death mask, they do have the funeral effigy that was probably made from his death mask.
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offwithherhead
14. RE: Death Masks
Dec 18 2008, 4:32 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2008, 4:32 AM EST
"If you go to my blog and read the steps to make a 16th century death mask – that is how they were made in the 16th century. Madame Tussaud used a different method. I am doing a post on her in a few weeks.

More here: http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/10/death-masks.html

The purpose of life masks in the 16th century was to capture the likeness of a person so that a portrait could be made. They were not viewed of works of art themselves and were often destroyed after they were taken. A death mask of Mary Queen of Scots would NEVER have been saved for obvious reasons - people would view it as a saints relic and it could be copied. In the 16th century, it was believed that a monarch's body had the power to work miracles before it was burried. death masks and even portraiture were believed to act as a surrogate for the person. So superstitious.

The royal effigies at the Undercroft Museum are really fascinating. I went there during my research. Although they do not have Henry VII's death mask, they do have the funeral effigy that was probably made from his death mask."
Thanks beardedlady for the instructions on how to make a death mask...I especially like the "dead or live subject" in material requirements for making the death masks. What an interesting site you have!!!! I am going to be spending some more time there. :)
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beardedlady
beardedlady
15. RE: Death Masks
Dec 18 2008, 5:30 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2008, 5:30 AM EST
thanks. It's definitely a labor of love. Do you find this valuable?    

offwithherhead
16. RE: Death Masks
Dec 18 2008, 5:46 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2008, 5:46 AM EST
Well beardedlady....it appears that you and I have touched a nerve with some people here. :) 1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
17. RE: Death Masks
Dec 22 2008, 1:38 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 22 2008, 1:38 PM EST
"Well beardedlady....it appears that you and I have touched a nerve with some people here. :)"
Don't worry about it ladies....we just have a gremlin. It doesn't reflect the views of the majority.
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beardedlady
beardedlady
18. RE: Death Masks
Dec 22 2008, 2:31 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 22 2008, 2:31 PM EST
You know…I couldn’t figure out what you meant by “it appears that you and I have touched a nerve with some people here.” Now I get it. I see that you can rate comments left. Ok no more talk about death. sheeesh…I really didn’t mean to offend anyone, but how the 16th century recorded death is not a subject that you can sugar coat. I talk about death masks to 6th graders and they don't have this reaction! Do you find this valuable?    
MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
19. RE: Death Masks
Dec 22 2008, 2:36 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 22 2008, 2:36 PM EST
beardedlady.....as I said before, its not a general reaction just a troll. Ignore it and carry on, its an interesting discussion. :) Do you find this valuable?