Looking for something morbidly entertaining to do this weekend? May we highly recommend “Death: A Self-Portrait,” the private collection of Richard Harris on display at the Wellcome Collection in Bloomsbury, London.
Whether driven by intrinsic morbid curiosity or a philosophic way to deal with our unavoidable 100% morality rate, the fascinating and frightening subject of death has reigned supreme among artists of all time and all continents. In five rooms, the art of death is presented across different themes in hopes of illuminate the darkest mystery of our existence.
5 Rooms present the art of death on different themes: Contemplating Death features artworks of momento mori, which translates to ‘remember you will die.’ As we grapple with our own mortality, these pieces invite us to embrace the beauty of the moments of our lives while also warning us not to get too attached.
Room 2 showcases works of Danse Macabre or The Dance of Death, the common theme being that death picks no favorites – young or old, rich or poor, it comes after us all.
Room 3 deals with Violent Death, exhibiting works that illustrate the carnage, horror and chaos of war.
In Room 4, we are confronted by our almost erotic allure to death, destruction and dissection in Eros & Thantos.
And, at last, in Room 5, we celebrate death in Commemoration, featuring objects d’art used in burial rituals and mourning practices, including Day of the Dead puppets from Mexico and Tibetan ceremonial cups made human skulls.
Death: A Self-Portrait closes this weekend and it’s free!
Wellcome Collection183 Euston Rd London NW1 2BE