Wax model of a decomposing body in a walnut coffin, Italy, 1774-1800 The body in this wooden coffin is in a severe state of decomposition. It may have had two purposes: as ‘memento mori’, a reminder of death, or as a teaching aid. Wax modelling was used in Europe to create religious effigies. The creation of wax anatomical models, centred in Italy, was based on observing real corpses. The museum known as La Specola, or ‘the observatory’, in Florence was famous for its wax collection.
Otter, Late Period or Ptolemaic Period, 664–30 B.C. Bronze or copper alloy - During the Late Period and Ptolemaic times otters were represented in bronzes statuettes such as this one, standing, forepaws raised, atop small bronze boxes. The pose of raised paws signifies the otter's adoration of the sun god when he rises in the morning. In myth otters were attached to the goddess of Lower Egypt Wadjet, whose cult was centered in Buto, in the northern Delta.
Conservatory Leading to the Library. Watercolour provides vivid record of The Deepdene's delectable mingling of architecture and nature, of its conservatories, terraces, garden steps and sculpture galleries. Series commissioned by John Britton for a book on The Deepdene as an expression of Picturesque theory in the country. This was intended to parallel the book that Britton published in 1827 on Sir John Soane's house. Thomas Hope and the Regency Style. vam.ac.uk
Various forms of hands on headstones are typically symbolic of reaching out for the Afterlife toward the Kingdom of Heaven. The earthy work we set our hands to is over, and our bodies must stay here for the time being while our souls go to rest with the Lord until The Day of Resurrection when the graves will give forth their dead. (John 5).
Back in 1991, fine artist Marc Quinn, (one of what’s now known as the Young British Artists) started the greatest self-portrait project of all time. Self (blood head) is a self portrait that has been cast and frozen, made out of 4.5 litres of Quinn’s own blood, reportedly extracted over a period of about 5 months. And every 5 years, he’s updated the project with a new version.