In the early 1900s, Europeans became obsessed with the death mask of an unknown woman who committed suicide by drowning. This mask adorned countless walls and was the muse of the most influential authors and artists of the era. This documentary investigates this morbid craze (2021) [00:16:46]

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Whoa that’s crazy I’ve actually drawn that cast before! I actually own a picture of the cast. I won’t spoil anything because it is very interesting, but I teach art in college and usually have my students draw from the Bargue plates that are mentioned at the end. Maybe we will draw this one this semester just so I get to tell this interesting story.


Very interesting story. Well narrated.


I’ve seen plenty of Rescue Annie dolls over the decades, and if the origin story is actually true, it’s a very bad reproduction.


Reminds of the Game of Thrones’s guild of assassins in the free city of Braavos and their many faced god. “Valar Dohaeris”. All men must serve. Faceless Men most of all.


This documentary makes it sound like the Bargue plates are unusual and rare but they were in fact incredibly popular and common – both Picasso and van Gogh used them to learn drawing. Van Gogh even wrote to his brother about plate 53 hanging on his wall in London. And yet no one noticed the incredible similarity between the drawn bust in a popular drawing manual and the tourist death mask sold at every corner? Something is not right.