05 August 2012

Louise Inman's Death Mask

Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum
Louise Inman was a daughter of H. T. and J. V. D. Inman. She was born 5 December 1883, and died 2 May 1888. The tree stump sculpted for her tombstone in Atlanta, Georgia's Oakland Cemetery indicates a life cut short, and she is depicted writing on a tablet -- possibly the particulars of her time on earth. According to the Historic Oakland Cemetery Self-Guided Tour & Map, Louise's face is a death mask.
"In Western cultures, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold. In other cultures a death mask may be a clay or another artifact placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites." [Wikipedia]
Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin