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  • darryl ziefle

    Death mask.. Maybe it’s the fact that the plaster once encased a dead person’s head or that we’re viewing the expression of a lifeless face, but whatever the reason, death masks are downright freaky—yet, they have been quite popular throughout history. The practice ofmaking death masks has been around since ancient times and was common well into the 20th century. People used them as models for sculpting, for forensic purposes, for religious ceremonies, and simply as mementos. Generally, physicians were in charge of creating the casts, and they made sure to do so within the first few hours of a person’s death (before bloating and rigor mortis set in). Thanks to these doctors who embraced the macabre, we can now see the deathbed faces of Napoleon, President Lincoln, Mary Queen of Scots, Beethoven, and many other historical figures. Possibly the most viewed mask is ofL’Inconnue de la Seine, an unidentified woman who was pulled out of the River Seine in the 1880s (she was presumed to have drowned). Her death mask became a popular decoration in upper-class French drawing rooms and was later used as a model for the face of CPR dummy “Resusci Anne.” Consequently, countless people have unknowingly given mouth-to-mouth to the image of a dead French woman. It’s fitting that the unknown drowning victim has saved innumerable others from the same fate.

  • th☼mas nall

    L'Inconnue de la Seine (French for "the unknown woman of the Seine") was an unidentified young woman whose death mask became a popular fixture on the walls of artists' homes after 1900. The story, the body of the young woman was pulled out of the Seine River at the Quai du Louvre in Paris around the late 1880s. A pathologist at the Paris morgue was so taken by her beauty that he had a molder make a plaster cast death mask of her face. In the following years, numerous copies were produced.

  • Lana Pearl

    L'Inconnue de la Seine - A death mask of an unknown woman pulled from the Seine in the late 1800's. Her face became a sensation, inspiring artists, writers, and young women everywhere, who modeled their looks on her. Her visage was also used as a cast for the first CPR dummies.

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In the late 1880s, the body of a 16-year-old girl was pulled from the Seine. She was apparently a suicide, as her body showed no marks of violence, but her beauty and her enigmatic smile led a Paris pathologist to order a plaster death mask of her face. Ironically, in 1958 the anonymous girl’s features were used to model the first-aid mannequin Rescue Annie.

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A scientific look at the bodies of Catholic saints that do not corrupt. The oldest incorruptible is St. Cecilia who was martyred in 177 A.D. Her body remains much as it was 1700 years ago when it was discovered. These bodies defy the natural order and 5 of the 8 stages of natural death. Click here to read more about this phenomena!

The Mummies of Venzone For hundreds of years, a mystery surrounded the cathedral of Venzone, a small city in the province of Udine, Italy. Instead of decomposing normally, bodies buried in the tombs beneath the cathedral were perfectly preserved and still recognizable decades later, a fact which led the townspeople to periodically retrieve and commune with their dead loved ones

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L0023228 Examination of the skull and brain. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. mailto:images@wel... images.wellcome.ac.uk Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc 2.0 UK, see images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/page/Prices.html Examination of the skull and brain, method of removing the brain after it is severed from the body.