”Memento mori”. In Latin, it is a warning phrase meaning “think of death” or “remember that you are going to die.
Although it has been interpreted in various ways depending on the times, it has given many suggestions to us humans. The message has been expressed not only in text but also in art, sometimes in paintings.
In this case, the main motif was the skull, which directly reminds us of death. Still life paintings, which had a lower status than religious or historical paintings, were elevated by incorporating the essence of Christianity. This was the so-called vanitas. Hundreds of years later, Damien Hirst’s three-dimensional “For the Love of God,” which is the most expensive single work by an artist in existence, also has Memento Mori as its theme. The skull was also chosen for this work.
Now, does the best motif to remind us of death give a new suggestion to modern people who have forgotten “Memento Mori”? In this article, I would like to introduce a few artists who deal with skulls.