Photo of sculpture of life mask of Beethoven on a black background
Photo of sculpture of life mask of Beethoven, side view, on a black background
$ 275.00

Beethoven Life Mask - Item #258

Patina Options

Each piece is custom finished. Depending on a sculpture’s texture and level of detail, the look of a patina can vary. A slight variation in color from order to order is to be expected.

Unless otherwise noted, our reproductions are hand cast in plaster and reinforced with burlap, fiber strands, and/or metal rods for extra strength.

 

FLAT WHITE: A unified, matte white finish. This is the optimum patina for cast drawing as it allows focus on form.

photo of cast of sculpture relief of robed figure, head now missing, reaching for her sandal in Flat White Patina on a dark gray background       

WHITE PATINA: A white finish with a light ivory tone added to the top surfaces.

       

LIGHT ANTIQUE PLASTER: A soft mixture of whites, grays, and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.

     

ANTIQUE PLASTER: A dramatic mixture of grays and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.

     

BRONZE: A rich brown finish with golden highlights to replicate the look of bronze.

     

STONE: A mixture of lighter tones to resemble natural stone.

 

DARK STONE: A mixture of darker tones to resemble natural stone.

 

SANDSTONE: A soft base color with warm highlights to resemble the look of natural sandstone.

 

TERRA COTTA: A variation of warm tones to resemble terra cotta.

 

ASSYRIAN STONE (Applies only to item numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 738): A two-tone patina augmenting the shallow relief sculpture and its stone texture.

TANAGRA PATINA (Applies only to item numbers 317, 318, 319, 320, 800 and 813): A finish that replicates the colors of the Tanagra figurines as shown in the product images.

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10.5 Inches High x 7 Inches Wide x 5.5 Inches Deep

In 1812, Austrian sculptor Franz Klein (1779-1840) made a life mask of Ludwig van Beethoven, the famed German composer who lived from 1770 to 1827. Beethoven was 42 years old when he had the plaster cast taken of his face. The sculptor created the mask in preparation for a bust commissioned by Beethoven’s friends - the piano manufacturers Andreas and Nannette Streicher - for their concert hall.

Masks of famous figures, especially composers, were popular wall decorations in middle-class homes in the 19th century. This trend arose from the interest in the physiognomies of famous artists. Possessing and displaying a mask as homage or as a memorial to the person depicted signaled the owner’s social class and their high regard for culture. Beethoven’s mask served this same function in Germany and Austria, where consumers purchased the mass-produced plaster casts and placed them in their homes, especially in their music rooms. This life mask was incorrectly known and referred to as a death mask through the turn of the 20th century, likely due to consumers treating it as an object of mourning.

The life mask quickly became a model for artistic representations of Beethoven (such as the bust by Hugo Hagen) and illustrations of the composer used on various consumer goods. The prolific use of the mask’s image made Beethoven’s face extremely recognizable. People considered the life mask a true depiction of his usual countenance, although his expression was possibly a consequence of the uncomfortable life-casting process, as has been suggested by some scholars.

Antique copies of the life mask can be found in museums and collections around the world, including the Beethoven-Haus Bonn in Bonn, Germany and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

 

Artist: Franz Klein

Museum: Various including Beethoven-Haus Bonn in Bonn, Germany and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Time Period: Modern, 1812

1911 Catalog ID # - 13503

 

Sources:

"Beethoven monuments of the 19th and 20th century: 1800-1830 Beginning and precursors." Beethoven-Haus Bonnhttps://internet.beethoven.de/en/exhibition/beethoven-monuments-of-the-19th-and-20th-century/id0.html.

"Explore the artefacts on display in the Beethoven Factory." Ringve Music Museumhttps://ringve.no/en/objects-beethoven

Fine, Abigail. Objects of Veneration: Music and Materiality in the Composer-Cults of Germany and Austria, 1870-1930. 2017. The University of Chicago, Illinois. Dissertation. Knowledge@UChicagohttps://knowledge.uchicago.edu/record/898?ln=en.

"Franz Klein - Life mask of Ludwig van Beethoven, after 1812." Isabella Stewart Gardner Museumhttps://www.gardnermuseum.org/experience/collection/19753

Knapp, Raymond L., and Julian Medforth Budden. "Ludwig van Beethoven." Encyclopædia Britannicahttps://www.britannica.com/biography/Ludwig-van-Beethoven.

Pieces are plaster unless otherwise noted. They are made to order and hand cast. We offer our pieces in a variety of patinas/finishes. Click next tab for more details.

Small and large reliefs and masks come with at least one embedded hook for hanging unless otherwise noted.

Questions? View the FAQ page for more information and for answers to frequently asked questions. Email us at contact@capronicollection.com or call us at 781-933-2455.

Each piece is custom finished. Depending on a sculpture’s texture and level of detail, the look of a patina can vary. A slight variation in color from order to order is to be expected.

Unless otherwise noted, our reproductions are hand cast in plaster and reinforced with burlap, fiber strands, and/or metal rods for extra strength.

 

FLAT WHITE: A unified, matte white finish. This is the optimum patina for cast drawing as it allows focus on form.

photo of cast of sculpture relief of robed figure, head now missing, reaching for her sandal in Flat White Patina on a dark gray background       

WHITE PATINA: A white finish with a light ivory tone added to the top surfaces.

       

LIGHT ANTIQUE PLASTER: A soft mixture of whites, grays, and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.

     

ANTIQUE PLASTER: A dramatic mixture of grays and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.

     

BRONZE: A rich brown finish with golden highlights to replicate the look of bronze.

     

STONE: A mixture of lighter tones to resemble natural stone.

 

DARK STONE: A mixture of darker tones to resemble natural stone.

 

SANDSTONE: A soft base color with warm highlights to resemble the look of natural sandstone.

 

TERRA COTTA: A variation of warm tones to resemble terra cotta.

 

ASSYRIAN STONE (Applies only to item numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 738): A two-tone patina augmenting the shallow relief sculpture and its stone texture.

TANAGRA PATINA (Applies only to item numbers 317, 318, 319, 320, 800 and 813): A finish that replicates the colors of the Tanagra figurines as shown in the product images.

Most pieces ship within a few days to 3 weeks as they are made to order and hand cast.

Customers in the contiguous United States receive free ground shipping automatically at checkout. Customers located elsewhere can find shipping options in the checkout process.

Pieces must be opened and inspected within 48 hours of delivery to report any damage.

Returns are not accepted; all sales are final as pieces are made to order and hand cast.

View the FAQ page for more information and for answers to frequently asked questions.

Additional Information

Pieces are plaster unless otherwise noted. They are made to order and hand cast. We offer our pieces in a variety of patinas/finishes. Click next tab for more details.

Small and large reliefs and masks come with at least one embedded hook for hanging unless otherwise noted.

Questions? View the FAQ page for more information and for answers to frequently asked questions. Email us at contact@capronicollection.com or call us at 781-933-2455.

View Patina Options

Each piece is custom finished. Depending on a sculpture’s texture and level of detail, the look of a patina can vary. A slight variation in color from order to order is to be expected.

Unless otherwise noted, our reproductions are hand cast in plaster and reinforced with burlap, fiber strands, and/or metal rods for extra strength.

 

FLAT WHITE: A unified, matte white finish. This is the optimum patina for cast drawing as it allows focus on form.

photo of cast of sculpture relief of robed figure, head now missing, reaching for her sandal in Flat White Patina on a dark gray background       

WHITE PATINA: A white finish with a light ivory tone added to the top surfaces.

       

LIGHT ANTIQUE PLASTER: A soft mixture of whites, grays, and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.

     

ANTIQUE PLASTER: A dramatic mixture of grays and yellows to replicate the look of an aged plaster cast.

     

BRONZE: A rich brown finish with golden highlights to replicate the look of bronze.

     

STONE: A mixture of lighter tones to resemble natural stone.

 

DARK STONE: A mixture of darker tones to resemble natural stone.

 

SANDSTONE: A soft base color with warm highlights to resemble the look of natural sandstone.

 

TERRA COTTA: A variation of warm tones to resemble terra cotta.

 

ASSYRIAN STONE (Applies only to item numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 738): A two-tone patina augmenting the shallow relief sculpture and its stone texture.

TANAGRA PATINA (Applies only to item numbers 317, 318, 319, 320, 800 and 813): A finish that replicates the colors of the Tanagra figurines as shown in the product images.

Shipping & Returns

Most pieces ship within a few days to 3 weeks as they are made to order and hand cast.

Customers in the contiguous United States receive free ground shipping automatically at checkout. Customers located elsewhere can find shipping options in the checkout process.

Pieces must be opened and inspected within 48 hours of delivery to report any damage.

Returns are not accepted; all sales are final as pieces are made to order and hand cast.

View the FAQ page for more information and for answers to frequently asked questions.