The Artistic Side of Death

View of a Skull, Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1489


Saint Francis in Meditation, Caravaggio, 1605


Skull, Albrecht Dürer, 1521


La Calavera Catrina (Dapper Skeleton or Elegant Skull), José Guadalupe Posada, 1910-1913.

Much memento mori art is associated with the Mexican festival Day of the Dead, including skull-shaped candies and bread loaves adorned with bread “bones.”


Self-portrait With Death Playing the Fiddle, Arnold Böcklin, 1872


Engraving by M.C. Escher, 1919


Untitled-Death Outside the Head-Paul Eluard, Salvador Dalí, 1933


Head with Broken Pot, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1942


Sin esperanza (Without Hope), Frida Kahlo, 1945


Detail of Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central, Diego Rivera, 1946-1947


Three Study Portraits of Lucian Freud, by Francis Bacon


Artwork by Sergio Toppi


Drawings by Edward Gorey


Knowledge of the Past Is the Key to the Future: Some Afterthoughts on Discovery, Robert Colescott, 1986


Riding with Death, Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1988


Black Kites, Gabriel Orozco, 1997


For the Love of God, Damien Hirst, 1997


The Orientalist, Walton Ford, 1999


Painting by Pascal Vilcollet


Confetti Death, Typoe, 2010