In the olden days before photography, people used to hire painters to create portraits of those who had recently died as a way to keep the memories of the deceased alive. The dead were generally laid out in their best clothes with a special headdress, and some sort of token in their hands. The painter worked as fast as possible, for he had to complete the portrait before the body started to stank. Many probably made a pencil sketch of the lying corpse, then went home and completed the painting in leisure.
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