Plaster copy of the death mask of the Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), Italian, 1910-1929
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.