Wooden bust of a woman, half head, half skull, mounted on a ivory and wooden stand, possibly Italian, possibly 19th century
Carved from wood, this statue shows a woman with half of her head intact and the other half with a bare skull. This type of figure is known as a memento mori – literally a reminder of death, used to prompt people about the shortness of life and the inevitability of death. A skull was used to represent death from the 1500s onwards, replacing the older image of a skeleton leading a living person to their fate.
- Anatomy & Pathology
- Object Number:
- memento mori
- visual and verbal communication
- Loan, Wellcome Trust
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