Why Art often Symbolizes Death

Decent Essays

Death has captured the mind very early on and since then it has driven us to create some of the most powerful images in the world. In this essay I am going to discuss why art often symbolizes death and some of the complex ways in which art represents death.

In Jericho in 1950 Cecil Western, a British Archeologist discovered decorated skulls with a reconstructed nose and shells as eyes for a replacement. The skulls were discovered in walls of homes and they had been placed in specially made alcoves. Since that discovery, other decorated skulls have been found in the Middle East and Asia and some tribes also in South East Asia still practice this today.

Humans are the only creatures that understand the inevitability of our own death. Psychologists understand that the way to overcome the fear of death is by creating images of our ancestors, Professors Solomon and Greenberg have done experiments with 2 groups of students. They used subliminal images so the students will thinks of death. They then showed the groups images of dead celebrities. The subjects were chose to look at pictures and those that were made to think about death wanted to look at these images for longer a time.In Jericho, in the 1st millennia BC, the average life expectancy was 24 years old. The prospect of Death was terrifying to them and these artistic representations would have allowed them to keep their ancestors alive.

Reassurance, however, is only half of story. Some have used images of death for

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