Ercole Consalvi, dødsmaske CC0
Bertel Thorvaldsen
: Bertel (Albert, Alberto) Thorvaldsen
: 19.11.1770
: 24.03.1844
: dansk
Read about the artist in The Archives

Ercole Consalvi, Death Mask, 1824

Plaster. 25,9 x 18,4 cm
Inventory number: L659

Enlarge photo
Search the work in The Archives

The top of the body Crosscuts

Death mask of Ercole Consalvi

In Thorvaldsen’s time death and life masks were part of the portrait artist’s working method for capturing the features of his subject. Often Thorvaldsen received his commission posthumously – that is, after the death of the subject – or they could be commissions from far away where artist and subject could not meet. It was Thorvaldsen who took Cardinal Consalvi’s mask, very shortly after the Cardinal had breathed his last. They knew each other from the major work on the tomb of Pope Pius VII for St. Peter’s, and for Thorvaldsen it was certainly no easy task to restrain his feelings and tears during the casting.

Thorvaldsen himself had both a life and a death mask taken, and in his collections there are several masks of famous people.