THE MANY FACES OF DEATH

This gallery is composed of many different painting and sculptures that all focus on the same content. Death. Death is viewed in radically different ways throughout the world. The era a person lived in, their culture, country,religion and beliefs all have substantial influence on the way that they view death. Created in separate areas of the world and times in history, each painting or sculpture in this gallery tells a story and gives a certain cultural view or acceptance of death. This collection of art challenges you to find not just the similarities in death, but also the differences. To learn to focus more on how the people were feeling that were portraying death. Why did they see death like this? It challenges you to focus on the drastic differences that there is in the way people interpret death and then to look inside yourself to contemplate what death is to you. How would you depict or draw death? 

Death and Life shows death lurking in the backgrounds of these peoples lives. He sneaking up upon them trying to take them with him. Meanwhile the people are either shown hiding from death in denial that he's coming to get them or oblivious of the fact that he's so close, just waiting for the opportunity. This painting depicts death as a robber waiting to steal the lives of the people on the right.
Figure of Death is a statue that depicts death as a miserable and ugly skeleton. There is no peace or hope of an afterlife in this view of death. The torn skin falling off it's bones give a gruesome depiction of the reality of dying. This depiction of death instills fear in the viewer.
Faithful Unto Death depicts the fear of death. The uncertainty and apprehension towards dying. Here the soldiers looks out toward the battle. He looks toward death searching for courage inside to except his fate. Looking for the courage to overcome the fear of death by freely excepting it. The dark shadow that seems to cover the scene plays even more on the emotion of fear in the viewer. Here death is shown scary, ominous, and feared through the soldier hiding in the shadows, but you get a feeling that he is about to step out from the shadows. And this bravery that a viewer can speculate will happen gives us hope too.
Deaths in custody is a particular interesting more recent view of death. The man in this painting is still alive and the death implied by this painting suggests that "life" is not merely breathing and walking around. The death in this painting refers to the isolation one feels while in jail. Not physically dead, but still dead to the world. This painting provides a counterpoint to the rest of the artwork because the subject matter is not physically dead. This piece questions the reality of what it means to be alive and what it means to be dead.
Dead nephew shows death as a child sleeping. If it weren’t for the flowers, one might guess that the child wasn’t dead. This rendering of death has a peaceful tone that is conveyed through the pastel colors and softness of the painting.
Marat assassinated shows death scandalizing humans. Marat lies dead left vulnerable by death in his tub. The way Marat's hand has fallen to his side mid-writing shows how death can take life whenever it wants. Death here is depicted as sort of a punishment or humiliation, yet at the same time, the calm softness of the painting suggests that death isn't scary or violent but instead just an everyday occurrence.
Tristan and Isolt shows the romantic side of death. This painting is tragic and sad but at the same time there is an intimacy in the way they are painted lying with each other. Even though they are dead, they are together and that is most important thing. This painting shows a love between two people that would rather be together and dead than alive yet separated.
Paths of Glory shows the empty, forgotten, and aloneness that corresponds to death. This death is portrayed as a horrible result of war that has turned these men into lifeless forms lying in the aftermath of a battle. The way they are lying facedown implies that death has robbed them of their identity. It has robbed them of their faces.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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