Home

Death

Memento Mori, vanitas, mortality — death is one of the most pervasive themes in art history. While many artworks celebrate afterlives in heaven or hell, death is most offen referenced as grim reminder of numbered days, and a powerful motivator to live well while you can. Every culture has rituals surrounding death, appearing in artwork as icons and colors. Hourglasses and wilted flowers for the Dutch, the Cuckoo bird in Japan, the Totenkopf in Germany.

No artworks found.

Skeletons Fighting over a Hanged Man

Skeletons Fighting over a Hanged Man

James Ensor,1891
The Bad Doctors

The Bad Doctors

James Ensor,1892
Self-Portrait as Drowned Man

Self-Portrait as Drowned Man

Hippolyte Bayard,1840

And then everything will be ended. Everything will be ended. I shall die with the dying year.

The Final Days

Marie Bashkirtseff,1884

Silence was speaking at my side, With an exceedingly clear voice, I knew the calm as of a choice, Made in God for me, to abide.

My Sister's Sleep

Dante Gabriel Rossetti,1850

Her breath caught with short plucks and fast:— Then one hot choking strain. She never breathed again:

Of My Lady in Death

Thomas Woolner,1850

All knowledge hath taught me, All sorrow hath brought me, Are smothered sighs That pleasure lies

O When and Where

Thomas Woolner,1850
Crucifixion and Last Judgement

Crucifixion and Last Judgement

Jan Van Eyck,1430-1440
The Death of Moses

The Death of Moses

Alexandre Cabanel,1850
The Triumph of Death

The Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder,1562
Ophelia

Ophelia

John Everett Millais,1851-1852
Still Life with Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells

Still Life with Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells

Clara Peeters,1611
Lace Glove

Lace Glove

Hippolyte Bayard,1843-1846
Laocoön and His Sons

Laocoön and His Sons

200 BCE
Pentre Ifan Dolmen

Pentre Ifan Dolmen

3500 BCE

I am one of those gods, the Powers who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries on the day of the Weighing of the Words : I am thy kinsman, Osiris.

The Book of the Dead

1550 BCE
Mummy with an Inserted Panel Portrait of a Youth

Mummy with an Inserted Panel Portrait of a Youth

80-100
The Assassination

The Assassination

James Ensor,1890
Camille Monet on her Deathbed

Camille Monet on her Deathbed

Claude Monet,1879
Laocoön

Laocoön

El Greco,1604-1614
Cleopatra

Cleopatra

Giampietrino,1524-1526
The Death of Decius Mus

The Death of Decius Mus

Peter Paul Rubens,1616-1617

The town was on fire, the quarter where the poor Jews lived. They carried the bed and the mattress, the mother and the babe at her feet, to a safe place at the other end of town. But, first of all, I was born dead.

My Life - Marc Chagall Autobiography: Chapter 1

Marc Chagall,1922
The Sick Violinist

The Sick Violinist

Cristóbal Rojas Poleo,1886
The Misery

The Misery

Cristóbal Rojas Poleo,1886
The First and Last Communion

The First and Last Communion

Cristóbal Rojas Poleo,1888
Executions on the Third of May

Executions on the Third of May

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes,1814
The Death of Marat

The Death of Marat

Jacques-Louis David,1793
The Burial at Ornans

The Burial at Ornans

Gustave Courbet,1849-1850
Death and Life

Death and Life

Gustav Klimt,1910-1915
The War

The War

Marc Chagall,1943
Ria Munk on her Deathbed

Ria Munk on her Deathbed

Gustav Klimt,1912
Hope 1

Hope 1

Gustav Klimt,1903
Valentine Gode Darel in hospital bed

Valentine Gode Darel in hospital bed

Ferdinand Hodler,1914
Night

Night

Ferdinand Hodler,1890
The Execution of Emperor Maximilian

The Execution of Emperor Maximilian

Édouard Manet,1867

The selector used to find the pages shown above is:
template=artwork|writing|artist|movement|book|medium|subject|location, limit=200, subjects=6810, sort=-modified, template=artwork|writing, sort=sort=year_completed, sort=name