Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks

Natasha sheldon - March 15, 2018

Masks have been part of the ritual of death for millennia. Some, such as those of Egyptian pharaohs, were idealized representations of the deceased, designed for the tomb. Others, such as the death masks of ancient Rome, preserved the exact face at the moment of death. These masks were for the living, forming the imagines maiorum, of the deceased that joined the ranks of the family’s ancestors. This type of death mask continued into the middle ages and beyond, with casts of faces being used to preserve and replicate the faces of the dead as post-mortem works of art.

Throughout time, the method of creating death masks remained the same. The face of the corpse would be lubricated or protected in gauze before clay or wax was applied to make an imprint of the deceased’s features. However, the motivation behind the masks morphed with time. People began to create death masks for curiosity as well as commemoration. They became the subjects of science and study as well as art. Some were made to send a message- or purely for profit, Many survive today and give us an insight into the actual faces of some of the most famous and infamous characters in history. Here are just 10.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
A cast of Beethoven’s death mask. Picture Credit: Daniel Has. Wikimedia Commons.

Beethoven

Death masks have been made for a number of composers -Haydn, Chopin, Mozart, and Liszt amongst them. However, none shows the ravages of time more so than the death mask of Ludwig Van Beethoven. In his early thirties, the composer began to lose his hearing. Despite this, Beethoven persevered with his music and by his fifties was at the height of his success. However, a decline in his health marred the last years of his life, and by the end of 1826, Beethoven suffered from a severe bout of sickness and diarrhea.

It was an illness from which he did not recover. By the following March, it was clear that Beethoven was dying. His friends gathered about his bedside in Vienna and waited for the inevitable to happen. On March 24, 1827, a Catholic priest gave Beethoven the last rites, and on March 26th, he finally passed away. Now, however, thoughts of the composer’s earthly, rather than his spiritual immortality were very much on his friend’s minds.

The day after Beethoven’s death, his friend Stephen Von Beuning wrote to the composer’s secretary and biographer Anton Schindler: “Tomorrow morning a certain Danhauser wishes to take a plaster cast of the body. He says it will take five minutes, or at the most eight. Write and tell me whether I should agree. Such casts are often permitted in the case of famous men, and not to permit it might later be regarded as an insult to the public.”

Beethoven’s friends must have agreed because, on March 28th, Josef Danhauser, a Viennese artist had made a cast of Beethoven’s face. This mask preserved for posterity the ravages of the composer’s last disease upon his body, contrasting starkly with a life mask made of Beethoven in 1812. “The master’s appearance had changed greatly,” wrote Ernst Benkard, author of ‘Undying Faces: A Collection of Death Masks.” The dead, 57-year-old Beethoven’s face was now skeletal with sunken cheeks as opposed to the full vibrant, impatient features the composer had in his early forties.

So what caused this change? An autopsy of Beethoven has shown that the composer was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse of hepatitis. The modern reanalysis, however, shows Beethoven was also suffering from lead poisoning caused by illegally fortified wine. Scientists detected this poisoning from elevated levels of lead in hair taken from the composer by his friends as mementos after his death. Beethoven’s death mask, however, is not the only one to preserve the ravages of its subject’s passing.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
A cast made from death mask of John Dillinger, National Museum of Crime and Punishment, Washington. Picture Credit: Ctac. Wikimedia Commons

John Dillinger

The leader of the Dillinger or Terror Gang, John Dillinger was a notorious 1930’s Chicago gangster. Wanted for 24 bank robberies, he had escaped from jail twice and narrowly avoided a conviction for murder when he shot a Chicago, police officer. His flamboyant personality won him media admiration, and Dillinger began to acquire celebrity status. However, on July 22, 1934, Dillinger’s luck ran out when he was killed by police and federal agents in a shootout at the Biograph Theatre, Chicago.

As Dillinger drew his gun, officers shot him four times. Three shots superficially wounded him. However, the fatal bullet entered through the back of his neck, severing his spinal cord, passing through his brain and exiting just under his right eye. This death shot sent Dillinger sprawling face down on the floor. He died instantly. News of the gangster’s death soon spread, and before long, crowds of sensationalists eager for a glimpse of the notorious corpse had overrun the Chicago morgue that held Dillinger’s body.

Amongst those crowds were at least two opportunistic groups intent on capitalizing on Dillinger’s popularity by making a death mask of his face. Official permission was not forthcoming, but the cunning mask makers went ahead anyway. One group led by Professor D E Ashworth, deputy director of Worsham College of Embalming was one. Despite his claims that he had tried to gain permission and denials that he ever made a mask, the FBI detected Ashworth’s deception. They confiscated his mask, and the assistant coroner was sacked for his part in the affair.

A further mask was cast after Dillinger’s body was released to his family. Before its embalming, the funeral director claimed he was kept out of the room for an hour while a group of people made a mask of Dillinger’s face. They were so clumsy that they lacerated Dillinger’s already battered features with the gauze used to overlay the skin. This mask was also later handed in, this time by a Mr. May, a dentist, who claimed to have made his mask with the permission of Dillinger’s father.

These death masks show the impact of death on Dillinger’s face. The exit wound for the gunshot wound is visible as are the scrapes on his skin caused when his face hit the ground. The mask also preserves the traces of scars of the crude plastic surgery indulged in by the vain mobster. No authorized death mask was ever produced of Dillinger although one of the unofficial copies is now on display in the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. However, the justice system in 1880’s Australia positively encouraged the production of the death masks of criminals.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
Ned Kelly’s Death Mask, State Library of Victoria, Australia. Picture Credit: Gordon Maskryllos. Wikimedia Commons

Ned Kelly

By the eighteen hundreds, death masks were not being created as souvenirs of the rich and famous; they were also being made of criminals. The nineteenth-century equivalent of the head on a pike, the publicly displayed death mask was a way of intimidating would be criminals and reinforcing the authority of the law. The death masks of the particularly notorious also earned mask makers and the powers that be a tidy profit. Such was the fate of the death mask of the Australian outlaw, Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly.

Born in 1854, Ned was born in Victoria, the son of John Kelly, a transported criminal. Although John had settled down, the local police remained prejudiced against him, leading to the victimization of the Kelly family. Ned began his descent into crime at fourteen when he was falsely charged with assault. Despite being acquitted, he took up with various bushranger gangs known for stock theft. However, after a violent confrontation with a policeman at the Kelly house in 1878, Ned was indicted for attempted murder. He and his brothers went on the run and, after shooting three police officers, were declared outlaws.

The Kelly gang avoided capture for two years, robbing banks, denouncing the government and demanding justice for the poor. However, time ran out for the modern robin hoods when, after a bungled robbery, only Ned was left alive. He was taken to Melbourne Old Gaol where he was tried and convicted of murder on October 29, 1880. Despite a petition signed by 30,000 people calling for a reprieve, Ned Kelly was hung on November 11, 1880. He was just 25.

Within an hour of his death, Maximillian Kreitmayer, a Melbourne waxwork proprietor, had shaved off the hair and beard of the outlaw. Despite having been left suspended for 30 minutes, Kelly’s features were found to be peaceful rather than disfigured by his execution. Kreitmayer then made a plaster death mask of the deceased. Kreitmayer put the mask was put to immediate use. He and his associates made three casts of Ned’s head – one of which was on display at Kreitmayer’s waxworks the very next day. An assessment of Kelly’s character, made by self-proclaimed ‘Professor of Phrenology,’ A S Hamilton, accompanied the bust.

Hamilton explained how Kelly’s cranial regions indicated tendencies to violence, destructiveness and a desire for attention. He even explained Kelly’s support. “…There are few heads amongst the worst that would risk so much for power as is evinced in the head of Kelly from his enormous self-esteem, ” he proclaimed. “This self-esteem, combined with large love of approbation…. would often make him appear bright, dazzling and heroic to those who could not see through the veil that vanity threw around him.”Hamilton’s explanation ignored the circumstances that pushed Kelly into crime and the fact the public recognized injustice.

However, in other times and places, however, the death masks of the genuinely despicable were objects of veneration.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
The Death Mask of Reinhard Heydrich. Google Images

Reinhard Heydrich

Second in the SS only to Heinrich Himmler and one of the architects of the Holocaust, Reinhard Heydrich became a martyr of the Third Reich on May 27, 1942, when assassins killed him on the way home from his headquarters in Prague. In September 1941, Heydrich had been appointed Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia to ‘encourage’ productivity in Germany’s conquered Czech territories. Although Heydrich knew he was hated, he was so arrogant and sure of the fear he generated that he habitually drove between Prague and his country home without an armed guard in his open-top green Mercedes.

On May 27, Heydrich was slowing down to take a bend in a Prague street when two British-trained Czech operatives attacked him. They shot the ‘Butcher of Prague’ as he was known and followed through with a bomb. Despite his injuries, Heydrich was able to stagger from his vehicle and fire to shots at his assailants before collapsing in the street. He was taken to the hospital and attended to by his doctors who operated. However, on June 4, Heydrich died- somewhat ironically from blood poisoning attributed to fragments of his car and uniform which became lodged in his spleen during the explosion.

Heydrich was the only senior Nazi to be successfully assassinated. His death brought about violent repercussions as Hitler, and the Reich attempted to reassert their dominance. The Nazis retaliated by killing around 10,000 Czech citizens. They obliterated the mining town of Lidice, which was scapegoated for the attack and the deported 3000 Czech Jews from the ghetto to concentration camps. As for Heydrich, he became ‘The Martyr of Germany” and ‘The man with the iron heart” His body lay in state in Prague’s Hradcany Castle while on June 7, Prague citizens were made to take part in a pantomime of grief.

However, once this show was over, Heydrich was shipped back to Germany for his funeral proper. Again, he was feted, with Hitler delivering his eulogy to the assembled officials. As a memento of the occasion, each mourner was given a copy of a specially produced stamp with a picture of Heydrich’s death mask upon it. Only 800 copies of this memento were created. However, a year and a day after Heydrich’s death, the stamp went on general release. It was known as a value-added stamp because any purchaser paid a surcharge on the face value. This excess went towards the support of Heydrich’s widow and children.

As for the mask itself, it survived the funeral and the war. Heydrich’s widow Lina took it with her when she returned to her birthplace on the Baltic island of Fehmarn in 1954. In 1979, it was a noted feature on the wall of the inn she ran- the only piece of war memorabilia in evidence.

Not all death masks were of men. Nor were all of the subjects of these masks well known.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
L’Inconnue de la Seine. Google Images.

L’Inconnue de la Seine

In the late 1880s, the drowned body of a young woman was recovered from the River Seine in Paris. It was the custom to display unidentified bodies at the Paris mortuary, in the hope that someone would recognize and claim them. The appearance of the body of this particular young woman was particularly notable. The girl, who was estimated to be around sixteen years old, looked like she was asleep rather than dead. “Her beauty was breathtaking, and showed few signs of distress at the time of passing,” the pathologist on duty remarked,” So bewitching that I knew beauty as such must be preserved.”

So, the pathologist had a mask made of the girl’s face. Some felt that the serene features of L’Inconnue de la Seine– the unknown woman of the Seine as she became known- were at odds with the usual features of the drowned. They believed that the mask must have been made from a living model, the majority of Parisian society was captivated by the girl’s appearance and her tragic end. L’Inconnue became the inspiration for writers and artists who attempted to recreate her story.

Some imagined she was an innocent country girl seduced and abandoned by a wealthy lover who drowned herself after she became pregnant. Others saw a more destructive element to the mask. Richard Le Gallienne, in his 1899 novella, The Worshipper of the Image describes how an obsession with the mask destroys his hero, a young poet. Meanwhile, the mask quickly became a work of art in its own right, with copies gracing the halls and homes of fashionable Parisian society.

In the twentieth century, L’Inconnue’s immortality was assured when she was chosen as the face of the world’s first CPR training mannequin. In the late 1950s, a Norwegian toy manufacturer Asmund Laerdal was approached to make the training aid for the life-saving technique, which was then in its infancy. Laerdal agreed as he had nearly lost his son to drowning. He chose the face of L’Inconnue as he felt the aspect of a young woman would be less daunting for trainees. The resulting figure, called Resusci Anne made her first appearance in 1960.

A solution to the mystery of the real identity of L’Inconnue could lie in Liverpool, England. A story on BBC News tells how on a visit to France in the early twentieth century, an elderly lady saw a mask of L’Inconnue outside a Paris shop. She instantly recognized the mask’s features as those of her long-lost twin sister who had eloped to Paris with her lover years before and was never heard from again. Others, however, had to search for well-known faces through heaps of heads before they could make their death masks.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
Model Made from the death mask of Marie Antionette by Madame Tussaud. Google Images

Marie Antoinette

On October 16, 1793, Maria Antoinette, the former Queen of France was finally executed for treason. The Queen, who had been separated from her children, was taken to her execution in an ordinary cart. Haggard and prematurely aged by her tribulations, she met her death bravely as the executioner Charles Henri Sanson publicly guillotined her. Her body and severed head were then taken away and buried in an unmarked grave in the Madeleine Cemetery.

In 1835, the famous waxwork artist Madame Marie Tussaud set up her first waxwork museum in London. Amongst the exhibits on show were lifelike wax figures of the decapitated Louis XVI and his queen made from death masks that Madame Tussaud herself made after their executions. Madame Tussaud had known Maria Antoinette from her work in wax in pre-revolutionary times when she and her mentor had created models of the living royal family. In her 1838 biography, Madam Tussaud told the tale of how she came to make Maria Antoinette’s death mask.

Tussaud had watched the former Queen’s procession to the scaffold although she fainted before the execution. However, later, she was forced to take her bag of sculpting tools to the Madeleine Cemetery where, under the watchful eyes of the National Assembly, she made a mask of the dead queen’s face. She had been forced to undertake this procedure before, with other executed aristocrats including the king himself. Madame Tussaud kept the masks and took them with her on her twenty-year-long tour of Britain where they found their final home.

However, it seems strange that the National Assembly would sanction death masks when, as Tussaud also stated, they forbade their public display. This prohibition was to prevent any remnants of the royal family becoming a focus for posthumous adoration. It was for this reason the assembly had ordered the remains of King Louis be quicklimed following his burial. Indeed, for these reasons, it seems odd that they compelled Madame Tussaud to make the masks at all.

It seems that instead, Madame Tussaud and her mentor were making the masks quite willingly- and illicitly. Charles Sanson was notorious for selling off locks of hair, and clothing belonging to the executed. It is therefore plausible that he was renting out the severed heads of royalty to Madame Tussaud for a fee. The mask of Marie Antoinette is genuine. Its features bear an uncanny likeness to her portraits- in all but one regard. For Marie Antoinette shared a facial feature with many of her Hapsburg relatives; a distinctive and less than flattering ‘dropped lip.’ Artists often omitted this feature from official portraits- yet it was present on the mask made after her death.

The masks of other royal ladies, however, are more contentious- especially in cases where there are more than two of them.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
The Lennoxlove mask- one of two supposed death masks of Mary Queen of Scots. Google Images

Mary Queen of Scots

Death masks and effigies were part and parcel of a royal funeral. The earliest surviving examples belonging to an English King are those of Edward III, the progenitor of both the Houses of York and Lancaster. Both mask and effigy now lie in the Westminster Abbey collection, along with that of the first Tudor King, Henry VII. Mary Queen of Scots was a descendant of both men. Although her execution for treason meant she would never have an elaborate or public funeral, a death mask was still taken of the Queen’s face.

In 1587, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth I finally and reluctantly signed her death warrant. The exiled Mary had been involved in plots to kill and replace Elizabeth on the throne of England. Once the order was signed, the English Queen’s councilors, moved quickly. On the evening of February 7, 1587, Mary was told she would die the next morning, with no time to settle her affairs. Mary spent her last night writing letters and her will and disposing of her belongings. The next morning, she met her end with dignity.

Mary’s death, however, was not a clean one. The first blow of the ax glanced off the back of the former queen’s skull, missing her neck. The second blow was more successful, although Mary’s head remained attached to the neck by a piece of sinew. This was crudely severed with one final blow. However, none of this trauma showed on the queen’s face, which was preserved as not one but four death masks, with two likely candidates surviving to this day.

The Lennoxlove mask remains in possession of the Dukes of Hamilton, descendants of distant relatives of Mary. It was to the first Marquis of Hamilton that Mary left her sapphire ring. This, plus a box that reputedly held the notorious casket letters act as provenance for the mask, which has been kept at the Hamilton family of Lennoxlove, East Lothian for the last 250 years. The second mask, known as the Jedburgh mask was initially discovered in Peterborough where Mary was first buried until her reburial in Westminster Abbey. It is now part of a Museum to Mary in a house in Jedburgh, Scotland, where she once stayed when she was ill.

Both masks look very different. The Lennoxlove mask is the smallest of the pair and unadorned apart from eyebrows and lashes while the Jedburgh mask has been garishly painted, so it looks as if the Queen has been made up. Antonia Fraser, one of Mary’s biographers, believes the Lennoxlove mask is most likely the death mask of one of the early lady Hamilton’s rather than of Mary herself. However, without further evidence, we can never know if one, both or neither is the Queen of Scot’s death mask. What is certain is the identity of the death mask of the man who usurped and executed Mary’s grandson sixty-two years later.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
Copy of Oliver Cromwell’s Death Mask. Google Images.

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell is known by history as the man who overthrew a King of England and instituted the country’s one and only Commonwealth. On March 31, 1657, the government of England, in a document known as the Great Remonstrance, attempted to offer the throne itself to Cromwell. However, he refused, accepting only the title of Lord Protector. Cromwell died just over a year later at the age of fifty-one of natural causes. It was then that his ministers bestowed upon his corpse the honors he refused in life.

Cromwell’s funeral was in every way the funeral of a King- down to the taking of a death mask. This mask was used to create the traditional death effigies. One was placed on Cromwell’s coffin during his state funeral and internment in Westminster Abbey- the wax death mask covering its face. After the funeral, this effigy and its copy were taken to Somerset House. Here, the original image lay in state, after officials placed the royal orb and scepter refused by the living Cromwell into its hands. The second effigy was taken to another room where it was enthroned and later subjected to a posthumous coronation when the Crown of England was placed upon its head.

Two years later, however, things were very different. The monarchy was restored, and Cromwell’s body was exhumed and treated to a posthumous traitors death at Tyburn. His effigies, previously treated so royally were destroyed. One was burned at Westminster, while the other was symbolically hung at Whitehall to mark the return of King Charles II. However, the death mask survived and remained in the hands of its maker, Thomas Simon. Over the intervening years, six plaster copies have been made from this original, with examples held in the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum.

The mask’s reveal the real face of Cromwell- literally warts and all. The former Lord Protector’s face is a very ordinary one- even rather ugly. It shows Cromwell’s nose to have been thick, and slightly twisted. As for warts, they are indeed present too, with one on his forehead, one under an eye and another hidden by the Lord Protector’s facial hair just under his mouth. The revelations of his facial imperfections are unlikely to have bothered Cromwell anymore that the subject of the next death mask, who was also a social revolutionary.

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
Reconstruction of the death mask of Martin Luther. Google Images

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a former Augustan monk who started a religious revolution. Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany in 1483. His father had grand ambitions for him, and so Luther studied law. However, he did not enjoy the dissolute university lifestyle and quickly became disillusioned. Instead, Luther became an Augustan friar and eminent teacher- until his theories became a little too outlandish for the Catholic Church. Luther began by speaking out against the sale of Indulgences by the church- a practice whereby people paid the church for their salvation. Luther believed that salvation could be earned by faith alone and so in 1520, he found himself excommunicated.

Luther, however, unlike many other Protestant reformers, did not find himself meeting an untimely and painful death. Instead, he lived a long life, marrying, starting a family and continuing with his calling until on February 19, 1546, he passed away. Martin Luther died of old age, peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends in his bed in a house in his hometown of Eisleben. After his death, the old reformer was laid out in a white smock. A pewter coffin was commissioned and Lukas Furtengel, an artist from the nearby town of Halle, was summoned to make his death mask.

After lying in state in Eisleben church, on February 20, Luther’s body left for his final resting place at Wittenberg. During the journey of two days, the funeral procession passed through and rested at various towns. One of those towns was Halle, in whose church Luther had preached three times. After two days, the funeral processions set out for one last time. On February 22, Martin Luther was finally laid to rest in Wittenberg church. His death mask, however, did not remain with his body.

Justus Jonas, the preacher at Halle, was a close friend of Luther. After the funeral, he somehow acquired the death mask. Naturally, due to the popularity of Luther’s teachings, the mask was replicated several times but the original never left Halle and remains there to its day. However, it is somewhat altered. Sometime between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, the original mask was used as part of a life-sized figure of Luther. Unfortunately, that involved making a crucial modification: the opening of the mask’s eyelids. However, in 1926, Halle’s regional director Hans Hahne reconstructed the original mask, creating a plastic copy that recaptures how Luther orally looked after death.

The original copy of our final death mask, however, is not so easy to locate.

 

Unmasking the Dead: 10 Eerie and Infamous Death Masks
Death Mask of Napoleon. Google Images

Napoleon Bonaparte

The mask of Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most prolifically copied- and far-reaching in the world. On May 7, 1821, the former Emperor of France died of a stomach ulcer, disgraced and in exile on the island of St Helene. However, despite his fall from power, the former emperor was very much in demand- or at least his face was. For Napoleon still had his admirers- and those in attendance at his death knew there was money to be made from a death mask that could be used to create busts of the Emperor’s last image.

A day and a half after Napoleon’s death at least one, possibly two masks were created. Dr. Francesco Antommarchi claimed to have created one. However, while Antommarchi indeed possessed a death mask of Napoleon in the 1830’s, there is some doubt as to whether he created it himself. Yet, a mask was undoubtedly made by Napoleon’s English Surgeon Francis Burton. However, the mask was incomplete as Burton only held a cast of the back of the dictator’s head and ears. Burton claimed Madame Bertrand, one of Napoleon’s attendants, had stolen the face of the mask from him. So he took her to court to reclaim his property.

Burton lost the case. The story then goes that Madame Bertrand gave her part of the mask to Dr. Antommarchi who passed it off as his own- and used it to create a number of copies that were used to produce castings of Napoleon’s face in plaster and bronze. Antommarchi was profligate with his copy of the mask. He created one copy for the Florentine sculpture Canova. However, Canova died before he could sculpt his bust of Napoleon and so his mask reverted to the man who had delivered it to him, the British envoy, Lord Burghersh. Burghersh, in turn, used his mask to create a copy of Napoleon’s face that now be found in the National Museum.

Antommarchi subsequently traveled to North and South America, leaving copies of napoleon’s face wherever he went. The copy now in the museum of Santiago de Cuba was a gift made to the Cuban general Juan de Moya in 1833. In 1834, Antommarchi traveled to New Orleans where another bronze copy was deposited, as well as a plaster copy that he passed onto a fellow physician Dr. Edwin Smith. This copy finally found its way to the University of North Carolina. The base is inscribed with Napoleon’s last words: “tete d’armee’ – head of the army.

Antommarchi’s copies have also been found in Boston and as far afield as Auckland, New Zealand. Napoleon may have been thwarted in his efforts to expand his empire. However, after his death, the image of his dying face has visited places he could only have dreamt of.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Heirs of Widows, Time Magazine, October 15, 1951

Memories and Reminiscences of France, Madame Tussaud, Saunders and Otley, 1838

Death mask of Oliver Cromwell, British Archaeology at the Ashmolean Museum

File Number 62-2106: The Death Mask of Dillinger, United States Bureau of Investigation, August 12, 1935

Luther’s Death, Dr. Volkmar Joestel

Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, Westminster Abbey website

Death Mask Edward (Ned) Kelly (1854 – 1880), Australian National Trust website

Ned Kelly’s Deathmask, State Library of Victoria

Queen’s death Mask goes on Show, BBC News, August 1, 2006

Widow of Heydrich Says `Holocaust’ New York Times, February 7, 1979

Beethoven Death Mask, Carole Bos, Awesome Stories, Oct 7, 2013

Martin Luther’s Death Mask on View at Museum in Halle, Germany, Art daily.org

In Life…In Death, Maureen Buja, Interlude, April 9, 2015

Beethoven’s terminal illness and Death, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottowa, NCBI, October 2006

Death Masks: The Culture and Comfort of Remembering the Dead, Jim Harper, Historic Mysteries, February 16, 2017

Resusci Anne and L’Inconnue: The Mona Lisa of the Seine, Jeremy Grange, BBC News, October 16, 2013

The Story of Napoleon’s Death Mask, George Leo de St M Watson, John Lane, 1915

Advertisement