Death Masks of the Famous

It was the tradition for many centuries for death masks to be made of monarchs, artists and politicians in the time directly after their demise. Take a look at the many faces of death.


Modern sensibilities may find them rather morbid but before the age of photography there was a limit to the amount of visual mementos available to those left behind after the decease of a loved one. They were also used for other purposes, such as to record the features of unknown corpses or in burgeoning scientific methodologies. It was the better off who would normally have a death mask created and as such we are left with a surprising record of famous faces from the past. As expensive as they were, the death mask remains an intriguing testament to the time post mortem of many of the world’s famous people.