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Beyond death – death masks

The connection between image and death is as old as image making itself. People have tried to keep their relatives and friends “alive” beyond death since time eternal. However, a requirement for creating (death-)portraits is, first and foremost, also the knowledge of one’s own mortality. The Wien Museum collection contains more than 300 death masks of famous personalities, mainly first casts from original templates based on the face of the recently deceased. The person thus then lives on in image and memory.
Josef Hirschhäuter
23.8.1850
Fritz d. Ä. Zerritsch
1896
Unknown
1860
Willy (Wilhelm) Kauer
1940

Totenmaske von Franz Lehar

Willy (Wilhelm) Kauer
1948

Totenmaske von Karl Kraus

Willy (Wilhelm) Kauer
1936

Totenmaske von Ernst Molden

Willy (Wilhelm) Kauer
1953
Willy (Wilhelm) Kauer
1951