image S_0047_Newton death mask_1
Image number: RS.8492
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Death mask of Isaac Newton

Date

1727

Creator

Michael Rysbrack (bapt. 1684, d.1770, Flemish), Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Material

wax

Subject

Content object

Description

Full face view of the death mask of Isaac Newton. With eyes and mouth closed, and chips along the outter edge, particularly the top right [as viewed] and bottom left corners.

Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) British natural philosopher and mathematician, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1672 and served as President from 1703 to 1727.

Object history

Presented to the Society in 1839 by Samuel Hunter Christie (1784-1865) FRS. ["History of the Royal Society" by C R Weld, 1848, Volume IV, pages 446/7.]

This death mask is one of several prepared shortly after Newton’s death, likely by the artist Michael Rysbrack. Rysbrack used the likeness to sculpt Newton’s features in marble for his tomb at Westminster Abbey. This mask was owned by the 18th century French sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, who carved a marble bust of Newton (now at Trinity College Cambridge).

Associated place

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