Since antiquity, the moulding of the face of a deceased individual has been part of a culture of remembrance. The direct contact with the body, of which the mask is an image, gives the whole process a special authenticity. Sometimes even the hair of the deceased is preserved in the plaster: the border between the work of art and the body becomes blurred. Since the 18th century, death masks have also appealed to the middle-class circles because of their strong and intimate connection with the deceased person. In particular, death masks of poets and contemporary intellectual giants served an emerging bourgeois cult of genius as well as physiognomic thinking, where the spiritual power of a person is expressed in the face.