8 Beautiful Pieces Of Art Depicting Death That Will Leave You Speechless

Art has a great way of allowing us to explore topics that we don’t get to explore often in life.

Death is one of those topics we don’t get to explore until it’s too late to turn back and report our findings.

That’s why art that depicts death is so precious and beautiful.

We’ve curated 8 beautiful, timeless pieces of art on death, life, grief, mortality, and loss below. Take them in and let them uplift you and inspire you in whatever ways they need to.

Here they are below:


Art Piece #1

“Whose Name was Writ in Water”

The artist: John Keats (circa 1821)

What we love about this piece: We’ll start things off with a classic, by John Keats. I came across this gravestone marking the life of a very well known English poet named John Keats in Rome, Italy a little over a decade ago. I was struck by the quote on it which reads “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water”. I stared and re-read that line many times because it’s such a beautiful way to describe a short life (Mr. Keats lived to be only 25 years old). Isn’t that true about life? That our lives are like writing our name in water? We make a mark in the infinite sea, but we, too, will pass away one day. Such a beautiful and gentle description of mortality.


Art Piece #2

“What It’s Like To Wait”

The artist: Elizabeth Shull at @elizabethshullart


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A post shared by Britt Keehn (@the_art_of_the_end)

What we love about this piece: This piece, for me, represents the grief that we carry, yet the imminent hopefulness that also belongs to us. The figure in this piece is sad, and black, with grief or depression. The sky is dark and ominous. Yet, there’s a sun rising in the distance, and its beautiful. This piece brings hope to those who think all is lost. Because loss does also lead to beginnings, too.


Art Piece #3

“A Dream is Over” 

The artist: Kremena Chipilova at @kremena.chipilova.art

What we love about this piece: The organicness of this piece is what touched me. It reminds us that we, like the leaves, fall and die. That we live and die in a cycle that is a part of this Earth. That everyone and everything takes part in. That nothing lives forever. And that we carry dreams with us. And if we don’t live them while we’re here, they’ll die with us. And that right there, is what inspires life.


Art Piece #4

“The Passing of the Soul at Death”

The artist: Evelyn de Morgan 


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A post shared by Britt Keehn (@the_art_of_the_end)

What we love about this piece: What’s interesting about this painting is that it was created in the same year that the artist passed away, and two years after her late husband passed. It’s told that Evelyn became very spiritual upon the passing of her husband, and this painting shows that through and through, describing the passage our soul makes when it leave sour bodies. 

What we love most about this whole story is that when Evelyn and her husband passed, they had the following quote engraved on their headstone: “Sorrow is only of the Flesh, The life of the Spirit is Joy”. Such a beautiful way to celebrate life as it ends and passes.

Special thanks to @theartoftheend, @demorganfoundation , demorgan.org and wikipedia for the information. 


Art Piece #5

“You’ll never know until you get there. “

The artist: unknown


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A post shared by Britt Keehn (@the_art_of_the_end)

What we love about this piece: Some photos just say it all. This is one of them. What we love about this piece is the writing that came with it: 

“You’ll never know until you get there. You won’t know how cool and wise and beautiful you’ll be as an old person until you become one. You won’t know how crotchety you might be (or that you’ll be crotchety because that old football injury really sucks down the line), or that you’ll be a little sad because you miss your bestie who died before you. You won’t know how your face is going to settle, whether your smile lines will be as deep as your frown lines, or how many freckles from the sun you’ll get until you get old. 

You won’t know how old age will treat you until you get there. Not everyone gets so lucky to live to meet their old selves. You won’t know your old face if you change it, but whatever ways your face changes will still be yours. This is your journey alone. I hope you find joy and fascination meeting every you that you get to be along the way.”

This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read and seen naming aging and mortality. It’s a process, dying. It doesn’t happen suddenly one day. We’re always dying, while we’re living. And even though this piece isn’t directly about death, it does let us in on what the leading cause of death is… aging!


Art Piece #6

“The Roots Never Forget Their Flowers”

The artist: Eloy Bida at @eloybida 


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A post shared by Eloy Bida (@eloybida)

What we love about this piece: Here’s another piece that doesn’t necessarily address death directly, but expresses the beauty of life, death and our ancestors. This piece is beautiful because it brings comfort to us that those who pass, remain with us as our roots. They’re our ancestors now, and they’re here to help us and support us in all we do. All we do, is, in fact, on the backs of our ancestors. And it’s important to remember that even though they’re gone, they’re here with us, and within us.


Art Piece #7


The artist: Alex Grey

What we love about this piece: Here’s a very psychedelic-inspired piece on death. It’s one of the most famous modern art pieces on death. It is very spiritual in its nature, and it shows the process of the soul leaving the body, as another piece in this collection has. I love seeing the different expressions of this process because there is no empirical evidence we have. No one comes back alive to explain it. We can only tap into our imagination and creativity on the topic, and the incredibly influential Alex Grey did a beautiful job at this.


Art Piece #8

“Death and Life / Morte e Vita / Tod und Leben”

The artist: Austrian painter Gustav Klimt

What we love about this piece: This is a really unique piece on death and life. What most stands out the most for us is that while death is portrayed here to be dark and morbid, the humans, depicting life, seem unaffected by it. Life represents a woven, quilt like fabric that is connected. Everyone is holding each other and supporting one another. No one is even acknowledging death. It’s interesting because a healthy acknowledgement of death is important, but letting it consume us isn’t healthy either. This piece shows the healthy balance and polarity of life and death. For that reason we love this piece.


Over to you

We hope these art pieces touch your heart in some way. We hope they leave you feeling inspired. Curious. In awe. We hope these art pieces helped you feel what you need to feel about death, and also question the way you feel too. We hope these pieces help your journey in walking closer to death so it’s not so taboo and “wrong”.


What other pieces of art on death and mortality and life inspire you? Share them with us in the comments below!


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