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 Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette 
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Post Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
In Madame Tussad's Museum in London there are wax figures of Louis VI and Marie Antoinette over a sign stating that they are the death masks of the royal couple. (The sign was there for several years; I'm assuming it's still there.) It further claims that Mme. Tusssad herself obtained the masks after the executions. Could this be true? The only one who makes this claim is Mme. Tussad.


Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:08 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
It seems to be generally accepted that Madame Tussaud did this:

http://historicalbiographies.suite101.com/article.cfm/madame_tussaud__artist_in_wax
http://books.google.com/books?id=vIvNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA342&dq=Marie-ANtoinette+death+mask&lr=&as_brr=1&cd=6#v=onepage&q=Marie-ANtoinette%20death%20mask&f=false

Apparently the authorities even obliged her to take such casts:
http://books.google.com/books?id=qOjNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA466&dq=%22Madame+Tussaud%22+Marie-ANtoinette&cd=3#v=onepage&q=%22Madame%20Tussaud%22%20Marie-ANtoinette&f=false

I imagine some will want to see it:

Image


Those who like this kind of thing might visit Undying Faces:
http://www.undyingfaces.com/info/

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Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:05 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
I have to wonder about this. By all accounts that I have read, both Louis and Antoinette's bodies were carted directly from the place of their murders to the grave. When would Tussaud have taken these casts? Did she sneak into the cemetary at night and play with the heads? It seems unlikely to me.

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Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:33 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Again, by some accounts it was the authorities themselves who obliged her to do this. If so, no sneaking required.

Otherwise, one of several accounts says that she did indeed sneak a chance just before the body was buried.

In terms of the king and queen, accounts seem to vary. But there seems to be good evidence that she not only molded several other famous figures of the Revolution, but was actually obliged to. Which makes the current story more credible.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:40 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
I had read somewhere that she got a chance to mold the Queen's death mask. If we are to believe Lenôtre, she would have had 15 days to do so at the Madeleine cemetery before someone finally got round to burying this unfortunate Queen. :(

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:30 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Does anybody happen to have a photo of the King's death mask? Or know of a link? I'd love to see it.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:03 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Wait, are we saying that the image above is the actual image of the queens face? Even if it is a cast, is that her face? Or, is it just wax taken from an image or imagination and sculpted? I am a little confused.

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Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:05 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
IF it is what it claims to be, it is a mold of the Queen's actual face, yes.

Here's a bust of her from 1781 for comparison:
Image

It's a shame - Houdon, who did wonderfully lifelike sculptures, apparently did one of her, but I can't find it. Here's his Louis XVI (which I've seen up close):
Image

Otherwise, here's the death mask with a painting of the Queen, and the two superimposed:
Image
I'd say if it's not the Queen, someone did a pretty cool sculpting job.

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Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:19 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Is it just me, or is it quite chilling to see an image of something that was actually (possibly) taken from her actual face?! I mean that is as close it gets!

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Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:24 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Oh, THAT"s not spooky....

THIS is spooky:

Image

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Last edited by jimcheval on Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:41 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
I think the nose on the death mask looks completely different than the nose on the Houdon bust.

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:39 am
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
The Marie-Antoinette bust is NOT a Houdon; only the Louis XVI.

The nose matches the painting I super-imposed to a T. The eyebrows are very close, and other features as well. The hairline is different, but that's probably because the wig for the mask wasn't that carefully made.

But of course others could have fun digging up other images and comparing them.

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:19 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Wow, that is amazing! Although, I feel horrible for the poor queen getting a face full of wax!

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:53 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
I decided to try my own combination of the mask and her face - I didn't tilt the mask enough in this one, but I do think she looks similar!

Image


Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:47 pm
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Post Re: Death Masks Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
That is a very good pic, and also very similar to the wax figure, chilling...

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:56 pm
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