Post mortem, fake or ‘art’? You tell me

NB: a reader almost immediately produced the background story for this image – see comments below the article for further info

victorian post mortem photography skull illusion tumblr girl strange face


I found this supposedly post mortem photograph on my daily trawl through the internet. It was listed as being from Tumblr but I can’t find it on the link that was attached.

I have absolutely no idea what it’s all about. Any ideas?

Note: although it’s quite a small image it enlarges surprisingly clearly. Have a closer look and tell me what you think! 



This entry was posted in bizarre, memento mori, post mortem, post mortem photography, Tumblr, Victorian, vintage and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Post mortem, fake or ‘art’? You tell me

  1. Tattooed_mummy says: have a look here(I used google translate) ! It looks like a photoshopped image of a doll and a woman to me. so i call ‘art’

  2. Catherine Coon Bitikofer says:

    Yes, before reading that post, I thought the face looked doll-like, but the rest is realistic. I didn’t know why someone would do that if it was intended to be a postmortem touch-up. It has those weird open and close eyes, and kind of a smashed nose, with a pouty , too-small mouth. Art makes sense to me, too.

  3. Michael says:

    Fooled me at first, but art it would be….

  4. Pingback: The Gloaming webseries - Kickstarter - The Skull Illusion

  5. Michelle says:

    There is another couple of possibilities which could actually make it an legitimate PM, although could be outliers as explanations.

    One is a congenital deformity such as Craniosynostosis and while it may not be the case this could be an example of a person with something like Pfeiffer syndrome (high forehead, flattened middle face, widely spaced eyes and undeveloped upper jaw) or Apert syndrome. Both could have the effect of giving the “doll like” appearance in the image. The second would be that I’ve heard of and seen images where a wax coating has been used on the face, which was probably done to hide significant deterioration or injury (Bernadette Soubirous being one example).

  6. Violet says:

    Oh that’s interesting, Michelle. I think this probably is a work of art, but you can never be entirely certain! Thanks for commenting :)

  7. Helen says:

    Hi everyone! I am french so I understood things about the picture! It is from an american artist. But it seems that he stoped his creations :/ I follow the link to the guy on deviqntart

    but I can’t find what he became. But at least I know he did the picture!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>