What was the real face of Mozart or Beethoven like?

Beethoven and Mozart's death masks are exhibited in Vienna

The faces behind the best symphonies in history can be seen in the Funeral Pompas Museum in Vienna. Mortuary masks of Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Schubert are exposed there. For the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, the museum dedicates - until the end of the year - an exhibition to the life and death of the composer in which the collection of sculptures that reflect the real face of these music geniuses stands out.

Although these masks have been used since ancient Egypt, they had their great moment in the late eighteenth and, especially in the nineteenth, when it was common to remove a mold of the face of known personalities when they died. From the mold in wax or other material on the face of the dying or the deceased came that funeral mask that went on to thicken the bequeathed relics and supposed his "last portrait".

Even several masks were made, as in the case of Beethoven, one in life and another shortly after death. In the case of the composer you can see the difference between his deep live face and his emaciated appearance after dying, due to agony and disease.

The museum located in the cemetery belongs to the Public Funeral Home of Vienna and seeks to publicize the particular relationship of the Viennese with death, a historic mixture of pomp, singing to life and a certain black humor.


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