The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Death masks

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


L’Inconnue de la Seine


L’Inconnue de la Seine was a young woman who was pulled, dead, out of the River Seine some time in the 1880s. One of the pathologists at the Paris Morgue was so taken with her etherial beauty that he had a death mask made. Copies were taken, and soon thousands of homes had one. L’Inconnue was very popular with artists and writers on account of her enigmatic smile reminiscent of that of the Mona Lisa.  


Leland Stanford Jr


Leland Stanford Jr died aged 15 of typhoid in 1884. His distraught parents founded the university which bears his name. 


This is one way to make a death mask.


More excellent photos of death masks here





2 comments on “Death masks

  1. Kathryn Edwards

    Thursday 2nd February 2012 at 10:15 am

    The Inconnue is beautiful to my eye, also. I am struck by her light serenity each time I stroll past her on the Blog. I am writing this only as a salutation to her.

  2. Tuesday 31st January 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I find these very beautiful, sculptures that zing with character and poise.
    Perhaps because they are close up and face/head only, I found them more approachable than the portraits of dead people laid out in the previous post.
    Those I found spoke less to me. Perhaps the subjects themselves? The ‘flic’ in his uniform was greatly live though.

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