- Full Description
A volume of unprecedented breadth and sinister beauty examines a staggering range of cultural attitudes toward death. The book is organized into themed chapters: The Art of Dying, Examining the Dead, Memorializing the Dead, The Personification of Death, Symbolizing Death, Death as Amusement, and The Dead After Life. Each chapter begins with thought-provoking articles followed by a breathtaking variety of death-related imagery and artifacts. From skulls to the dance of death, statuettes to ex libris, memento mori to memorabilia.
The majority of the images are of artifacts in the astonishing collection of Richard Harris and range from 2000 BCE to the present day, running the gamut of both high and popular culture. Contains some nudity.
This is not a macabre focus on the subject, but a kind of celebration, bringing in pop culture images from the world over and over centuries. We've all been fascinated by imagery of skeletons and skulls, witches and devils, skeletons brought back to life to tease, threaten or astonish. A perfect companion to Monte Beauchamp's Skullture, this goes much farther back in time and much more broadly into all cultures to present the outre, outrageous and even funny imagery of what we all must face someday. In the meantime, there's Halloween where we celebrate such imagery every year, with the kids as part of the fun.
From the Grateful Dead's dancing skeleton to Charon's paintings of the River Styx, Bosch's Last Judgement to The Grand Guignol, to German photographs from the twenties of nude ladies cavorting, sometimes erotically, with a skeleton! It's a wild ride of unexpected imagery.
Death is an inevitable fact of life. Throughout the centuries, humanity has sought to understand this sobering thought through art and ritual. The theme of memento mori informs medieval Danse Macabre, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Renaissance paintings of dissected corpses and “anatomical Eves,” Gothic literature, funeral effigies, Halloween, and paintings of the Last Judgment. Deceased ancestors are celebrated in the Mexican Day of the Dead, while the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead to secure their afterlife.
- Additional Information
Item Code DEAGH Publisher Thames & Hudson Publish Date 2017 ISBN 9780500519714 Adult Rating Mature Readers Binding Hard Cover - No Dustjacket Dimensions 8x10 # Pages 368pg Color Partial Color