The History Channel: Death Masks

Posted by Audiegrl

New York circa 1908. Making a plaster death mask

New York circa 1908. Making a plaster death mask

The making of a death mask is a messy business – literally. They are difficult to make and the best position for the corpse is not lying down but sat up (as you can see in the picture). The shift from sculpture to masks came about in the Middle Ages when the art of waxwork and plaster casting became more sophisticated. The tradition evolved from royalty to eminent people and continues to this day.

abraham-lincoln-life-mask-2By using these masks, forensic-science and anthropology experts will delve into the real person behind the famous faces.

Every facial line, wrinkle and expression tells a story.

According to the “History Channel’s” website, using high-tech facial-reconstruction techniques and 3D imprint will render an exact replica of features. This will produce an intimate look at how their characteristics affected their lives.

deathmask2The show will attempt to solve some of the persistent mysteries surrounding historic figures such as; Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and George Washington.

Faces…and facts…fleshed out from the grave. Unprecedented technology brings to life extraordinary mirror images and powerful last impressions of history’s most powerful men. Every line, every wrinkle, every expression tells a story. Forensic-science and anthropology experts have identified that history’s most relevant figures left behind highly-detailed casts of their faces, created at their moment of death, to preserve their souls and physical memory for eternity.

George Washington life mask, from the original Houdon statue, 1785

George Washington life mask, from the original Houdon statue, 1785

Using advanced facial-reconstruction techniques and 3-D imprint detailing, these death masks render an exact replica of every feature, and an intimate look at how their characteristics affected their lives. Includes startling new insights into the persistent mysteries surrounding these historic icons like Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and George Washington, and just may reveal some secrets these men preferred to conceal.

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More @ historychannellogo

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More Information on Life or Death Masks

Undying Faces® Death Masks – Life Masks

Curiouse Expeditions, Death Masks – Kegyeleti Museum, Hungary

Death Mask Tuesdays

Laurence Hutton Collection of Death Masks

Wikipedia “Death Mask” Entry

AbbeyCarr Blog: President Lincoln

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5 Comments

Filed under Art, Culture, History, Media and Entertainment, TV Shows, Uncategorized

5 responses to “The History Channel: Death Masks

  1. Pingback: The History Channel: Death Masks « 44-Diaries | Best Facial Masks

  2. Pingback: more… « AbbeyCarr

  3. thelcster

    i can’t believe you caught this show as well! i saw this show and loved it. for a (self-proclaimed) history buff like myself to be able to look at what Caesar looked like 2 days after he was assassinated was incredible. as macabre as it sounds i almost want a life mask now! i think it would be a cool reminder when i’m older of what i looked like in my roaring youth. not sure if i can handle the claustrophobia though…

    • audiegrl

      LCster, glad you like the show. I watched it too, and was amazed. I have been searching for a while to find a youtube of part of the show, to no avail.

      Did you like the part where they showed the faces through CGI and the eyes opened? That was so bizzare, and sort of creepy to me.

      The whole part about George Washington not looking like what we see him as on the dollar was so interesting. Then they showed him both with and without his false teeth in. Also, the fact that he wanted all the artists/painters of the day to show him with a strong square jaw….that he really didn’t have? That sounds like celebrities today getting cosmetic surgery! Who knew… 🙂

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