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ID number:  BIRRC-A0428
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  De Ville, J. S.
Title / Object name:  Life Mask of William Blake
Object type:  Sculpture
Culture:  British
Date made:  1823
Materials:  Plaster

Presented by Mrs J. H. Whitfield. Another mask of William Blake (1757-1827), the famous poet and artist, is to be found in the National Portrait Gallery. The Birmingham University mask is of an older man, and indeed there is some argument as to whether it is in fact a life mask at all, but rather a death mask. However the resemblance between the two masks is clear, and there is no reason to suppose that the mask is not of Blake.
Deville was working between 1823-26. He also did life-masks of W.H. Thackeray as a boy, which is now in the National Portrait Gallery, and of Robert Owen.

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