Beethoven Death Mask

Beethoven Death Mask

Josef (Joseph) Danhauser made this plaster cast of Beethoven's face on the 28th of March, 1827.  Stephen von Beuning, one of Beethoven's friends, sent a letter to Anton Schindler discussing whether Danhauser should be allowed to make it:

Tomorrow morning a certain Danhauser wishes to take a plaster cast of the body.  He says it will take five minutes, or at the most eight.  Write and tell me whether I should agree.  Such casts are often permitted in the case of famous men, and not to permit it might later be regarded as an insult to the public.

Vienna, 27 March 1827   Breuning

Click on the image for a greatly expanded view.

Media Credits

Image of Beethoven's death mask, online courtesy Princeton University.

Quoted letter, from Stephan Breuning to Anton Schindler, from Beethoven as I Knew Him, by Anton Felix Schindler, ed. by Donald W. MacArdle, page 332.


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