The first-ever 3D scan of Isaac Newton’s death mask

This scan was just created by Microsoft Cambridge using a normal X-box Kinect scanner and some of their experimental software

Although rare today, creating a death mask of a person, particularly of politicians and other influential people, shortly after death was widely practiced in many countries and cultures throughout the centuries. Probably the most famous and recognisable death mask is the stylised gem-encrusted solid gold mask of Egyptian Pharaoh, Tutankhamun.

Creating wax or plaster death masks was common practice in Europe and in the United States during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, before photography became widely accessible. The death mask served a number of purposes, including an effigy at state funerals and serving as a permanent record of an individual’s facial features for posterity.

The death mask in this video is one of several prepared shortly after Newton’s death, probably by the artist Michael Rysbrack. Rysbrack sculpted Newton’s features in marble for his tomb at Westminster Abbey. It is likely he used one or more of these death masks to ensure accuracy

Source: Gaurdian

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