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#1646091 - 03/22/11 08:01 PM Re: Postmortem Daguerreotype of Chopin?? [Re: -Frycek]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
Jack, that isn't the bust I was talking about by Clésinger. I've seen it before (or at least a similar one) from a different angle; he seems to have added quite a bit of fat to Chopin's face here. I've never seen it in a front view so it's nice at least to have the opportunity.

I was thinking of this one...



... which I was told was done by Clésinger, but at the moment I'm not sure I'm sure of anything!

And if all these images aren't enough (and they aren't!), you can always check out Sim Chopin:
http://www.modthesims.info/d/195158

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1646657 - 03/23/11 04:50 PM Re: Postmortem Daguerreotype of Chopin?? [Re: Elene]
Deleted account Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 44
Originally Posted By: Elene
Jack, that isn't the bust I was talking about by Clésinger. I've seen it before (or at least a similar one) from a different angle; he seems to have added quite a bit of fat to Chopin's face here. I've never seen it in a front view so it's nice at least to have the opportunity.

I was thinking of this one...



... which I was told was done by Clésinger, but at the moment I'm not sure I'm sure of anything!

And if all these images aren't enough (and they aren't!), you can always check out Sim Chopin:
http://www.modthesims.info/d/195158

Elene



That's a relief as I never liked the other one! Yes I forgot about this one. It's wonderful and obviously very closely copied from the death mask, as opposed to from imagination. The hidden smile you mention is there, and in fact I sometimes see a trace of that on the death mask itself in certain directions. It's clearly a great piece of sculpting, assuming it's Clesinger!

What's interesting is when you put all these images together, including the two photographic images you begin to get a pretty good idea of his real appearance. But then how did his face move? Clearly it was very mobile (all those brilliant impersonations he could do) and since so many artists made him look quite different my guess is his face was changing all the time. Alas that is something we will just have to continue to imagine.

I would still like to learn more about that first death mask (assuming it's Chopin). (By the way I found the image through google quite easily! - tourist shots from Crakow and Warsaw). Could Chopin's breathing difficulties really have caused his mouth to cave in like that or was that simply damage caused by Clesinger as he made the mask after Chopin's death? Also the distance from the nose to the mouth (on this first death mask) looks far greater than in the photographs and 2nd death mask. The nose looks as though it could be Chopin's though it's not exactly the same shape as the 2nd mask. Have you ever read where this mask came from, other than in Eisler's book? Perhaps Jeff Kallberg could share some light here. I first heard about this 'first' death mask in the early 1980s but don't know much about its provenance.

Jack


Edited by JackGibbons (03/23/11 05:10 PM)

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#1646793 - 03/23/11 08:49 PM Re: Postmortem Daguerreotype of Chopin?? [Re: Deleted account]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 219
So I've got a bit too much on my plate at present to sort all this out, but I can point Polish readers to a couple good articles about the death mask and the daguerreotype(s). First is a very thorough account of the various versions of the death mask, including the first version reproduced in this thread:

Czesław Sielużycki, “Prace Chopinowskie rzeźbiarza Jean-Baptiste-Auguste Clésinger: Studium dokumentacyjne i porównawcze,” Rocznik Chopinowski 16 (1984): 119-151

He's quite convincing on the authenticity of the first version.

And for recent research on the daguerreotype, see:

Małgorzata Maria Grabczewska, “Powstanie i historia dagerotypowych wizerunków Fryderyka Chopina: Nowe ustalenia,” Muzyka 53 (2008): 75-86

Jeff Kallberg


Edited by Jeff Kallberg (03/23/11 08:49 PM)

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#1646807 - 03/23/11 09:04 PM Re: Postmortem Daguerreotype of Chopin?? [Re: -Frycek]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6290
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I love the bust posted by Elene - so peaceful, so beautiful: truly Chopin...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1646920 - 03/24/11 12:55 AM Re: Postmortem Daguerreotype of Chopin?? [Re: -Frycek]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
I haven't had any luck tracking down the articles Jeff mentioned, except for brief descriptions of them, but here is a page from the Bibliotheque Polonaise in Paris that has yet another portrait I'd never seen before:

http://www.bibliotheque-polonaise-paris-shlp.fr/index.php?id_page=20461

I also came across a play someone was putting on in Krakow, "Chopin vs. Szopen"-- about the real man having to come to terms with the national icon. A fascinating concept since they are not really the same, and the actual man may well find the legendary one a bit irritating! The article about it pointed out that we don't really know what he looked like.

Well, we do more or less, if we kind of put all the images together superimposed in our minds.

Elene

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