In this week’s Top 10 theme, Artlyst has searched Art History for the 10 best works of art featuring skulls. Skulls have been used as the symbolic representation of death and mortality throughout history and each civilisation has maintained a fascination with the image from the Zapotec and Mixteca people through the Aztecs and the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. The Renaissance continued this fascination with images of Memento Mori and the skull, in particular, represented Heaven, Hell, divine judgment and the salvation of the soul. 17th-century artists used the skull in their still life Vanitas paintings to depict the temporary nature of life and worldly possessions. Modern and contemporary artists from Cezanne, Klimt, Picasso to Warhol and Damien Hirst have continued to exploit the image. So sit back and enjoy our gruesome choices.
Image: Andy Warhol, Skull, 1976