Since the first funerary statues were placed in the first sepulchres, the ideas of death and the afterlife have always held a prominent place at the heart of the art world. An unlimited source of inspiration for artists, death remains the object of numerous rich illustrations, as various as they are mysterious. The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the forever sleeping statues on medieval tombs, and the Romantic and Symbolist movements of the 19th century are all evidence of the incessant interest that fuels the creation of artworks featuring themes of death and what lies beyond it. In this work, Victoria Charles analyses how art has become, through the centuries, the reflection of these interrogations linked to mankind’s fate and the hereafter.
Victoria Charles received her PhD in art history. She has published extensively on art history and has contributed to Art Information, an international guide to contemporary art. She is also a regular contributor to journals and magazines.
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