(October 31, 1795 – February 23, 1821)
was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his works having been in publication for only four years before his death from tuberculosis at the age of 25.
On Saturday 14 December 1816, the painter Benjamin Robert Haydon made a life mask of Keats (so he could include him as one of the onlookers in his massive painting Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem). Fellow-poet John Hamilton Reynolds watched the procedure: Keats’s face was greased with fat, straws were put up his nose so he could breathe, and his hair was bandaged. Then he lay on his back and Haydon daubed his face with plaster of Paris, which was left to set for ten minutes or so. Before the invention of photography, this was the only way to get an exact likeness of someone’s face.
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