Miniature Memento Mori Portrait

  • This one-of-a-kind early miniature painting is a charming example of a memento mori
  • It takes the form of a marriage portrait featuring two half-skeleton, half-human figures
  • Such works served as a reminder that one must embrace their life while they can
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-2375

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This one-of-a-kind early miniature painting is a particularly charming example of the tradition of memento mori, a work of art that reminds us that death awaits us all. The marriage portrait features two half-skeleton, half-human figures; the bride is bedecked in her wedding day finery while only a skull remains of her head, while the groom retains his face and little else but bones. With each detail, the work serves as a reminder of that solemn, yet romantic marriage vow, “...until death do us part.”

Not only does this work tell a great story, but it is also completely original and museum quality in its execution. An impeccable level of detail is imparted into its relatively small diameter, from the bride's dress and groom's blushing face to the sofa upon which they rest. It is a truly spellbinding example of its centuries-old art form.

The term memento mori is derived from the Latin, meaning “remember that you have to die.” Prior to the 20th century, death was considered a natural part of life that was often contemplated, and this took artistic form through the long history of the memento mori painting. Far from being morbid, such works served as a reminder that one must embrace their life while they can.

19th century

5 3/8" wide x 5 3/8" high
Miniature Memento Mori Portrait
Period: 19th Century
Origin: America
Type: Miniatures
Depth: 0.75 Inches
Width: 5.38 Inches
Height: 5.38 Inches
Canvas Width: 2.875 Inches
Canvas Height: 2.875 Inches

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