Saturday, December 18, 2010

You might as well live

William Turner, Death on a White Horse, 1830

 Théodore Géricault, Head of a Guillotined Man, 1818

 Alexandre Correard, Théodore Géricault Dying, c. 1825

 Hippolyte Delaroche (1797-1856), Louise Vernet, wife of the artist, on her deathbed

 Maxim Vorobiev, Oak Fractured by a Lightning Bolt. Allegory on Wife's Death, 1842

 Funerary Portrait of Don Mariano Francisco de Cardona, Mexico, 1768

 Juan Soriano, The Dead Girl, 1938

 Maria Cosway, Nightscene: A Woman and Two Children, One Apparently Dead, at Seashore, 1800

 Antonio Muñoz Degrain, Motherly Love, 1912

 John La Farge, The Strange Thing Little Kiosai Saw in the River, 1897

 From these random slips, it would seem, that Pierre is quite conscious of much that is so anomalously hard and bitter in his lot, of much that is so black and terrific in his soul. Yet that knowing his fatal condition does not one whit enable him to change or better his condition. Conclusive proof that he has no power over his condition. For in tremendous extremities human souls are like drowning men; well enough they know they are in peril; well enough they know the causes of that peril; -- nevertheless, the sea is the sea, and these drowning men do drown.
Herman Melville : Pierre, Or, The Ambiguities

 Wassilij Grigorjewitsch Perov, The Drowned, 1867

 Jakub Schikaneder, Utonulá, 1890

 Marcel Roux, L'enfant et la Mort

 Jakub Schikaneder, Dead Girl, 1909

 Jaroslav Panuška, Death Looking into the Window of One Dying, 1900

 Anne-François-Louis Janmot, The Poem of the Soul - Nightmare, c. 1860

 Oskar Zwintscher, Grief, 1898

 Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Lemminkainens Mother, 1897

 Hans Baluschek, The Death, 1895

  Goya, Out hunting for teeth, plate 12 of 'Los caprichos', late 18th century

L'homme naît sans dent,
sans cheveux et sans illusions.
et il meurt de même,
sans cheveux, sans dents
et sans illusions.
Pierre Corneille, "Pompée"

 Felix Jenewein, Death, from the series "Judas Iscariot," 1897

 Emil Holárek, And Forgive Us Our Sins, c. 1900

 Oskar Nerlinger, The Last Exit, 1930

 Asger Jorn, Ainsi on s'Ensor, 1962

 Gerhard Richter, Hanged, 1988

  Norbert Bisky, Freudenstadt-Aschersleben, 2006

Resume by Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

 Caspar David Friedrich, Landscape with Grave, Coffin and Owl, 1836

 Ernst Ferdinand Oehme, Procession in the Fog, 1828

Antoine Wiertz, L'Inhumation précipitée (The Hasty Burial), 1854 

When Zeno was told that one of his enemies was no more he was observed to be deeply moved. "What!" said one of his disciples, "you weep at the death of an enemy?" "Ah, 'tis true," replied the great Stoic; "but you should see me smile at the death of a friend."

 Wojciech Weiss, Pogrzeb w mieście, 1904

 Felix Jenewein, The Suicide's Funeral, 1901

 Carlo Farneti, Illustration for Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal, published 1935

 Walter Schnackenberg, Death on the stage, 1957

 Antoine Wiertz, The Suicide, 1854

 Edouard Manet, Le suicide, 1877

 Henry Wallis, Death of Chatterton, 1856

 Herbert Boeckl, Cadaver of a Young Man, c. 1930

 Albin Egger-Lienz, Finale, 1918

 José Chávez Morado, Dance of Death (Carnival Figures), 1940

 Diego Rivera. The Day of the Dead. 1924. Fresco. Ministry of Education, Mexico City 

 Remedios Varo, El hombre de la guadaña, 1947

 Álmos Jaschik, The Marrow-Plantation, 1927

 Alfred Kubin, The Hour of Death, 1900
Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. (Wittgenstein, Tractatus)

A. Paul Weber, Der Schlag ins Leere, 1933

Joel Peter Witkin

 William Mortensen, Death of Hypatia, 1930s

 Margaret Bourke-White, Suicides of Germans in Leipzig City Hall, April 1945

 Adrian Ghenie, Jumping off the Reichstag, 2008

 George Tooker, Cornice, 1949

Leap Before You Look
by W.H. Auden (First Stanza)

The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep,
However gradual it looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.

 Tullio Crali, Kamikaze, 1980

Maria Lassnig, Du oder ich (You or Me), 2005

 René Magritte, Checkmate, 1926

 Christoph Niemann, My Life with Cables 

 30 Ways to Shock Yourself!

 Andy Riley, Bunny Suicides

 Philippe Rousseau, The Rat Who Withdrew From The World, 1885

 Félix Bracquemond, The Moles, 1854

 Hayv Kahraman, Honor Killings, 2006

 Marcel Dzama, Last Winter Here, 2004  

 Mark Kostabi, Suicide By Modernism, 2005

 Jean-Eugène Buland, Les Héritiers (The Heirs), 1887


  1. Either they used to have far more personal experience with the act of dying and of dead bodies than we do, or artists were morbidly fascinated with death that non creative types.

  2. the theme of dying is really interesting and really well expoited.
    I like the Maria Lassning's paint which is modern but which keep a certain old form, like Otto Dix's nude.
    A kind of disgusting which i love actually.

  3. A very interesting group of paintings related to the subject of death/suicide (a subject allways left aside of our lifes); the title is wonderful. My favorits being: Remedios Varo, Manet, Ensor and Gerhard Richter. Thank you for the post.

  4. This collection is absolutely delightful. Well done!