Face to Face

The latest Objectivity video deals with two "death masks" stored at the Royal Society.

They are casts of the faces of two great men in the fields of maths, astronomy and physics.

Isaac Newton died in 1727 and James Jeans in 1946.

Newton's death mask is well-known - in fact I've filmed it before.

Newton's face was cast at time when such things were common.

For example, they were useful tools for sculptors making posthumous statues.

The James Jeans mask is unusual because it is more modern.

Its creation was discussed between Jeans' wife, Susi, and family friend Joy Adamson.

The pair were present when Jeans died and wanted to capture the "spiritual radiance" of his face.

The mask spent many years in the Jeans home, but has now been entrusted to the Royal Society.

You can read more about it on the society blog.