A Photoshop reconstruction of John Henri Isaac Browere’s 1825 life mask of Thomas Jefferson 4×6 premium matte postcard.
About Life Masks:
Before photography, life masks were the best way to give us an exact likeness of their subject. Plaster would be applied to the head and sometimes upper torso to create a mold from which a life mask (cast bust) of the person would be created. In addition to being three-dimensional, the faithful transfer process of the life mask creation eliminated the “artistic license” and “sympathetic treatment” employed by many contemporary portrait artists. Thus, using life masks, I am able to complete a forensic/academic study of how the subjects most likely appeared using Adobe Photoshop to add flesh, hair, and other details.
The casting of Jefferson’s life mask did not go well.
″Jefferson wrote to James Madison of the ordeal on October 18, 1825: I was taken in by Browere. He said his operation would be of about 20 minutes and less unpleasant than Houdon’s method. I submitted therefore without enquiry but it was a bold experiment on his part on the health of an Octogenary [sic], worn down by sickness as well as age. Successive coats of thin grout plaistered [sic] on the naked head, and kept there an hour, would have been a severe trial of a young and hale person. He suffered the plaister [sic] also to get so dry that separation became difficult & even dangerous. He was obliged to use freely the mallet & chisel to break it into pieces and get off a piece at a time. These thumps of the mallet would have been sensible almost to a loggerhead. The family became alarmed, and he confused, till I was quite exhausted, and there became real danger that the ears would separate from the head sooner than from the plaister [sic]. I now bid adieu for ever to busts & even portraits.”
“Jefferson endorsed Browere’s bust, as did James and Dolley Madison when they saw it several days later. Two years later, James Madison wrote that “Browere’s bust in plaster will probably show a perfect likeness.”
J. I. Browere made life masks of many famous early Americans, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Dolley Madison and James Madison to name a few.
About your Postcard:
Postcards are 4×6 premium matte.
Cards come as a single card, pack of 10, pack of 25, pack of 50 or single card mailed with stamp, signed and a written message from me.
Free Shipping. Prints and Postcards ship with 1-3 business day via USPS First Class Mail.
If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your item, we will completely refund your order.
Resellers and Gift Shops: Contact me for discounts, higher quantities or custom cards with your shop or business logo.