Death: A Self Portrait


The Wellcome Collection is currently hosting an exhibition of three hundred pieces that consider death from a variety of perspectives.

Death: A Self Portrait is focused on artistic attempts to make peace with death. It is such a huge topic that many aspects inevitably get short shrift. For example, the fourth room ( Eros and Thanatos) is unable to scratch even the surface of the rich psychological theories which serve as its background.

The most powerful segment of the exhibition is the third room: violent death. Here we are confronted by some gruesome work by (among others) Francisco Goya and Otto Dix. The challenge of this confrontation comes from the presentation such undignified deaths. It may be a sort of stoic exercise; spend enough time imagining the worst possible ends and your own might not seem so bad.

Death: A Self Portrait is at The Wellcome Collection until the 24th of February, 2013.

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