L'Inconnue de la Seine Face cast (medium).
LA BELLE ITALIENNE mask face cast (death cast/death mask)
L'Inconnue de la Seine (French for "the unknown woman of the Seine") was an unidentified young woman whose death mask became a popular fixture on the walls of artists' homes after 1900. Her visage was the inspiration for numerous literary works. In the United States, the mask is also known as "La Belle Italienne".
According to an often-repeated story, the body of the young woman was pulled out of the Seine River at the Quai du Louvre in Paris around the late 1880s. Since the body showed no signs of violence, suicide was suspected.
A pathologist at the Paris morgue was, according to the story, so taken by her beauty that he had a mould make a wax plaster cast death mask of her face. It has been questioned whether the expression of the face could belong to a drowned person. According to other accounts, the mask was taken from the daughter of a mask manufacturer in Germany. The identity of the girl was never discovered. Claire Forestier estimated the age of the model at no more than 16, given the firmness of the skin.
In the following years, numerous copies were produced. The copies quickly became a fashionable morbid fixture in Parisian Bohemian society. Albert Camus and others compared her enigmatic smile to that of the Mona Lisa, inviting numerous speculations as to what clues the eerily happy expression in her face could offer about her life, her death, and her place in society.
The popularity of the figure is also of interest to the history of artistic media, relating to its widespread reproduction. The original cast had been photographed, and new casts were created back from the film negatives. These new casts displayed details that are usually lost in bodies taken from the water, but the apparent preservation of these details in the visage of the cast seemed to only reinforce its authenticity.
The face of the unknown woman was used for the head of the first aid mannequin Resusci Anne. It was created by Peter Safar and Asmund Laerdal in 1958 and was used starting in 1960 in numerous CPR courses. Therefore, the face has been called by some "the most kissed face" of all time.
Our cast is available in full life size, medium and also available in Small.
The Large full size cast is made from an antique Karlsruhe Majolika Art Deco Death Mask. It measures 12 Inches High x 8.5 Inches Wide x 6 Inches Deep. It can be purchased here https://bigfootcasts.com/products/copy-of-linconnue-de-la-seine-face-cast-life-mask-lifesize-death-mask-life-cast
The medium size is approx. 2/3 original size measures about 7" tall, and 4 7/8" wide at the widest point. The medium cast is available here:
The small size is approx. half the original size and measures 6" tall and 4" at the widest point. The small size cast is available here:
It's a very beautiful little work of art with a sad history. I can provide more pictures upon request.
Please contact us for more information.
Please call (314) 556-0650 or email us for more photos or information.
This item is backordered. Please expect extended wait time.
The cast comes in white.
--LifeCast LifeMask Death mask life cast.
We also have the full Lifesize cast available.