Famous Art Pieces with Skulls

Famous Art Pieces with Skulls
Famous Art Pieces with Skulls

The human skull appears on many different levels in popular culture from the Memento Mori, to macabre props in home decor, art and literature. In this article, we'll discuss how skulls have been used in art throughout history with a focus on famous work that features a skull or that alludes to the symbol of death.

What is a skull?

The skull is part of the skeleton that forms the head of the body. Skulls can come in all different shapes and sizes depending on what species they came from.

Some Well Known Pieces of Art with Skulls

"Skulls" by Andy Warhol.
This skull piece by Warhol is one the most iconic pieces of skull art. It was first designed on his notebook in 1968, depicts a color portrait of a skull.
"Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette" by Vincent Van Gogh.
Vincent van Gogh captures a skeleton contemplating a burning cigarette. Though this was just one his paintings that was not recognized at the time of its creation and was sold only in the year 1919 by Theo Van Gogh to French government-it became his most recognized work of art.
"Fallen Angel with Skull" by Banksy.
This painting was created by the famous graffiti artist. The art piece represents a fallen angel holding a skull and looking at it with a very divine gaze. The image is beautiful and somewhat haunting at the same time as it gives off an incredible atmosphere.
"Rams Head, White Hollycock Hills" by Georgia O'Keeffe.
This piece is one of her most important pieces. It is recognized by critics as one of her most brilliant pieces she has ever done.
"All is Vanity" by Salvador Dali.
This well known piece features a woman sitting at her vanity and her reflection creates the illusion of a skull. The famous surrealist artist is known to have impressed the world with his unusual works of art.


The use of skulls in art has been in use for centuries, and has been around in various forms all over the world, in contemporary, pop art, abstract, surrealism and many more. The use or representation of a skull is believed by many to signify a "symbol of fleeting life," a "reminder that death will come despite one's rank," and a symbol of human mortality. Images that include skulls may remind us to practice mindfulness and live without regret, because death is inevitable.

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