As one of the unavoidable realities of human existence, death is also one of the oldest and most common themes in the history of art. From Egyptian tomb paintings and battle scenes on Greek vases by anonymous artists, to depictions of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus by the great Renaissance masters, to contemporary encounters with these subjects by such artists as Damien Hirst and Andres Serrano, the contents of this book highlight three thousand years of the iconography of death and resurrection. While focusing on the Western artistic tradition, the book also includes many artworks from Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
De Pascale explores depictions of these two subjects thematically, through chapters on violent death, ceremonial tributes to the departed, allegorical depictions of death, and the journey to the afterlife. The book concludes with an examination of symbolic representations of the victory of life over death.