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 where artists can search for the expression of the infinite, 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, through the centuries, art has become the reflection of these interrogations linked to mankind’s fate and the hereafter.
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- I. Ancient Conceptions of Death and the Afterlife
- II. Christian Doctrine of Death and the Afterlife
- III. Visions of the Afterlife
- Ancient Egyptians
- The Etruscans
- Relics of the Dead
- Etruscan Doctrine of Death and the Afterlife
- Ancient Greeks and Romans
- Early-Christian Doctrine of Future Life
- Medieval Doctrine of Future Life
- Modern Doctrine of Future Life
- Christian Symbolism
- God and the Trinity
- The Cross
- The Serpent
- Symbols of Death
- Purgatory and Hell
- Reincarnation and Enlightenment
- Index of Illustrations