Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream
August 31, 2004 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Death Masks (Keats, Newton, Etc.)
posted by gwint (16 comments total)
(via boing boing)
posted by gwint at 1:42 PM on August 31, 2004


did Nietzsche not have a mouth? was he killed in a road accident? aha - wait - a quick look at the very next picture tells us it was in fact a sensational beard. soup must have been a nightmare.
posted by nylon at 1:55 PM on August 31, 2004

Yow! Lucky preview found your post or I'd have doubled up!

I found it incredibly hard to figure out who they were without looking (and it didn't help that I hadn't heard of at least half of them).

Still pretty interesting stuff!

I did like my Post Title though, Deathmasks: Because You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a Last Impression.
posted by fenriq at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2004

fenriq -- that's a great title. And this site's going to cost me the rest of my day. I wonder if noses like Dante Alligheri's are entirely a thing of the past?
posted by coelecanth at 2:04 PM on August 31, 2004

This site rocks. It's fascinating to see what people like Dante, Robespierre, Beethoven, Shakespeare, etc., actually looked like. Be sure to check out the Victorian death photographs off the top-level. Tragic, haunting, and compelling stuff.

I did a "deathmask" my freshman year in college and I still have it. They're definitely an interesting experience, if you're alive for 'em.
posted by keswick at 2:14 PM on August 31, 2004

coelecanth, thanks but I do have to admit that I stole it from the Yahoo link to the site.

I think I want my deathmask to have eyes that open every once in a while to scare kids.
posted by fenriq at 2:15 PM on August 31, 2004

This is one of my favorite links that I've ever seen on Metafilter. Thanks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:34 PM on August 31, 2004

Fascinating. Thank you for pointing us to it. (I think that my favorite so far has been Julius Caesar.)
posted by dryad at 3:10 PM on August 31, 2004

I've got to say, Isaac Newton looks an awful lot like Robin Williams.

Or, I guess, the other way 'round...
posted by kindall at 3:27 PM on August 31, 2004

This is just great. I only wish there was some kind of documentation or other information for each mask image. I mean, Julius Caesar? Really?
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 4:14 PM on August 31, 2004

What a cool site.
posted by Devils Slide at 4:21 PM on August 31, 2004

I love this -- thanks for posting it. It's really striking how different they look; some look peaceful, some look positively worn out.

On preview: wow, Newton does look like Robin Williams.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 4:54 PM on August 31, 2004

I don't buy the Julius Caesar one, either.

C'mon, let's see some provenance! If I have to list every person who ever handled my mint copy of Amazing Mega-Man #1 (Platinum, with Titanium border) to prove it's the Real Thing, then it should be just that hard for death masks.

I mean, maybe the guy who you bought it from was sure it was Julius Caesar, but ...
posted by yhbc at 7:17 PM on August 31, 2004

{this is good}
posted by anastasiav at 9:52 PM on August 31, 2004

This is so strange. After RavinDave's comment here about Ebay "lifemasks" the other day, I looked around a bit and found this utterly amazing death mask collection at Princeton - truly an all-star cast! (Pun intended.) I was going to make this my next post, damn your eyes, gwint!
posted by taz at 10:50 PM on August 31, 2004

Take a few minutes to read some of the comments in the gallery of keswick's link. Who are these people (the commenters)? Gimme a break.
posted by Witty at 1:04 AM on September 1, 2004

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