Figure of a man in a coffin, Italy, 1501-1600
Carved from wood, this figure shows a male corpse inside a coffin. The body is in advanced decay and worms are spilling from the stomach. The coffin is a memento mori. This is an object that reminds the viewer of the shortness of human life and the inevitability of death.
Related Themes and Topics
A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.
Glossary: memento mori
Symbols intended to remind the viewer of death. Memento mori are often objects such as skulls or hourglasses, but can also be written inscriptions.
Glossary: rigor mortis
Temporary stiffening of the muscles which begins within a few hours of death due to biochemical changes. The condition may last for up to four days before subsiding.