Still Life with Death’s Head (1907) by Pablo Picasso

Still Life with Death's Head (Composition with Skull) - Pablo Picasso - 1907

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Death's Head (Composition with Skull)
ArtistPablo Picasso
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions115 x 88 cm
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
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About Still Life with Death's Head (Composition with Skull)

Still Life with Death’s Head by Pablo Picasso is a notable artwork that falls under the memento mori category, which reminds viewers of their own mortality. It consists of a goat’s skull, a bottle, and a candle on a wooden tabletop. The composition has an eerie effect with the skull at the center, symbolizing death.

Apart from this piece, “Still Life” is a series of linear or late Cubist works produced by Picasso. During this period, he created over 40 such paintings with flattened shapes and overlapping planes to depict everyday objects like chairs and guitars in new and innovative ways. One of his most celebrated Cubist works is “Still Life with Chair Caning,” painted in 1912.

Picasso extended his experimentation with still life beyond paintings to sculptures as well. His “Still Life” sculpture was made from partly recycled and partly carved wooden elements to create an assemblage representing household items such as bottles and cups.

Another prominent Cubist work that showcased Picasso’s skill in creating still life compositions was “Still Life with Bull’s Skull,” painted in 1939. It features an eclectic selection of objects including a guitar, ceramic bowls, fruits, cheese wedges atop bread slices – all surrounding an enormous bull skull at its center.

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