Charles Cowling


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





0 0 votes
Article Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kathryn Edwards
Kathryn Edwards
9 years ago

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.

james showers
9 years ago

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.