"A death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person's face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold. In other cultures a death mask may be a clay or other artifact placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were also used to permanently record the features of unknown corpses for purposes of identification. This function was later replaced by photography."(Quoted from wikipedia.)
Here is a link to some famous Death Mask....and Maria, John Dillinger's is in this group!! I guess you could say these famous people left a lasting impression....pun intended.
Lord have mercy those faces/death masks are freaky, but COOL!!! The death mask of Abe Lincoln's is the only one that doesn't look like him. I wonder what my death mask would look like!!! Thanks for this cool thread and link!!! Maria
Post by angel71242 on Apr 27, 2009 10:42:50 GMT -5
Awesome thread Vickie!! Those death masks were way creepy!! Some of them look so real...like the person is going to open their eyes and look around! I never knew death masks were made for those people. Really cool link!!!!!!
I've always thought that those death masks were a little creepy. People have some really strange customs when it comes to death. Like those death books. The ones where they take the photos of the people after they have died. They are usually laying down in a bed. Eww... creepy.
I think it was a way to remember what someone who died looked like, back before photography. It does seem creepy these days, but it was probably different for them back then. It was a quick way to retain the exact image of a your dear departed. They probably treasured them.
There are some really scary photos of dead people sitting up on a couch in the moie THE OTHERS starring Nichole Kidman. Now that's a movie that freaked me out. A lot of people even now today take photos of a loved one of theirs after they died but it's always of the deceased lying in their casket rather thn propped up on a chair or a couch. It's that "propping them up" that sceers me!!!! Maria
Oh, I know I saw that. They also show some in the movie The Haunting in Conneticut. I have heard where, especially babies, where the family had no living photos of their loved ones, they would want to have the bodies photographed. But I just don't know if that is how I would want to remember my loved ones. They would also get portraits made from the photos of their dead loved ones. Dont get me wrong though, if I found one of those books of the dead, I would love to look through it. Everyone tells me I'm a little morbid.
I agree seiyalover, I wouldn't want to remember my loved ones propped up on a chair or laying in a coffin either!! And if you think you're morbid, then I guess that includes most of us on this forum....hehehe