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Copy of the death mask of the Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, Italy, 1910-1929

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This is a plaster copy of the death mask of Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), an Italian sculptor. Bartolini’s sculpting talent earned him influential patrons. He was reputedly Napoleon’s favourite sculptor. He created a large bust of Napoleon as a Roman Emperor. Examples of Bartolini’s work can be seen in museums and art galleries worldwide. Death masks and life masks were popular in Europe during the 1800s. They were considered an honour for important and influential people, and were often created as a memento of their passing. They were also used as models for portrait painters in the years before photography.

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Glossary: death mask

A cast taken of a person's face after death, usually made from plaster or wax.

Glossary: copy - derivative object

Refers to objects derived from or made to resemble original existing objects. Implies less precise and faithful imitation than does the term "reproductions." When copies are presented with intent to deceive, use "forgeries" or "counterfeits." When more than one similar work is produced by the same maker, use "replicas" or "versions."

Glossary: mourning

Trial term S&H