This article covers the famous 14 paintings around the theme of death in art. Leonardo Da Vinci once said that Art never dies, it’s only abandoned. Artists like him can only abandon art when they die.
It’s true to the core that art never dies, it constantly improves itself. So, below are the most famous paintings about Death in Art.
The Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio
The Entombment of Christ, a painting produced by Caravaggio between 1603 and 1604. The theme of death in art isn’t a rare occurrence, but this painting that is considered one of the most admired works of Caravaggio is a great example of how such deep aspects of life are important in depicting the key moments of history. In this painting, the dead Christ’s body is being carried by two men. It’s not a burial as Christ’s body is being laid on a stone slab but a moment of mourning as many believed God came to earth to reconcile humans with heavens.
Oath of the Horatii by Jacques Louis David
Oath of the Horatti is a painting produced by Jacques Louis David in 1784. This painting is best known for its Neoclassicim style around the world. There was a dispute between Roman and Alba longa warring cities who have agreed to send best three warriors from their cities. This painting depicts three brothers from Roman family saluting their father who is holding their sword.
The Death of Leonardo da Vinci by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
The Death of Leonardo da Vinci, a painting produced by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1818. This painting represents one of the greatest minds, resting in peace. The king of France, Francis I is shown holding Leonardo Da Vinci head and receiving his last words.
The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David
The Death of Socrates, a painting produced by Jacques Louis David in 1787. One of the main features of this painting is that it focuses on classical subjects. It depicts Socrates who was sentenced to death for introducing strange gods and corrupting the youth of Athens.
Andromache Mourning Hector by Jacques Louis David
Andromache Mourning Hector, a painting produced by Jacques Louis David in 1783. This painting is famous for one of the scenes used from antiquity. It depicts hector who has been killed by Achilles. Andromache is the wife who is mourning over his death and comforted by his child.
The Menaced Assassin by René Magritte
The Menaced Assassin, a painting produced by Rene Magritte in 1927. It is considered as one of the famous and theatrical works by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. The painting is about a nude woman whose body is lying on a couch smeared with blood while the assassins were about to leave the room.
Murdering Airplane by Max Ernst
Murdering Airplane is a painting produced by Max Ernst in 1920. For this painting, Max Ernst got inspiration from World War I events in which he also served as a fighter. This painting depicts a monstrous unrealistic airplane with human hands flying over a field.
Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali
Christ of Saint John of the Cross, a painting produced by Salvador Dali in 1951. The Spanish government got an offer of 127 million dollars for this painting but they rejected it. For this painting, the Spanish painter got inspiration from a dream in 1950, he saw the exact image of Christ in colors as drawn in this painting by him.
The Dying Swan by Vladimir Tretchikoff
The Dying Swan is a painting produced by Vladimir Tretchikoff in 1949. This painting is also well known around the world by the name “Alicia Markova The Dying Swan’. Alicia Markova was a lovable ballet girl who did perform the famous role of the Dying Swan. The South African painter loved her performance and hen decided to paint her.
The Entombment by Michelangelo
The Entombment is a painting produced by Michelangelo between 1500 to 1501. This is an unfinished painting by the Italian artist who was going to depict the placing of the Christ body in the garden tomb through The Entombment.
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Damien Steven Hirst
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living is an artwork – probably one of the best contemporary installations around the theme of death in art – produced by Damien Steven Hirst in 1991. It is known for its true example of Contemporary and Conceptual art. A killer dead shark is kept in a tank filled with formaldehyde.
The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons by Jacques Louis David
The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons is a painting produced by Jacques Louis David in 1789. Many historians believed that the original title of this painting was Brutus returning home after having sentenced his sons for plotting a tarquinian restoration and conspiring against roman freedom, the Lictors burnt their bodies to be buried. The Lictors remains one of the greatest examples of death in art
Leonidas at Thermopylae by Jacques Louis David
Leonidas at Thermopylae is a painting produced by Jacques Louis David in 1814. The French painter was occupied for about fifteen years for Leonidas at Thermopylae painting. The Spartan king Leonidas preparing for combat is shown in this painting prior to the battle Thermopylae.
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? by Paul Gauguin
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? is a painting produced by Paul Gauguin between 1897 and 1898. There is an original title inscribed on the upper left corner of this painting in French as D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous. This painting should be read from right to left according to French painter instead of left to right.