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Home  > News  > Memento mori: Smarties chocolate skull and more
 

Memento mori: Smarties chocolate skull and more

June 23 2010

How about this skull for great art? You can tell we're chocoholics here at Show Me!

Photo showing a skull made from resin clear plastic with Smarties chocolates inside.


It's called For the Love of Chocolates by artist Valerie N'Doye.

The skull was part of an exhibition called Double Take at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery from July 3 until September 25, 2010.

Photo courtesy Worthing Museum and Art Gallery

The skull made us do a double take because it's based on the famous diamond skull by artist Damien Hirst called For the Love of God. Hirst covered his platinum skull (worth 50 million pounds!) in 8,601 diamonds. Smarties are a lot cheaper...

Did you know..?
Skulls are often used in art as memento mori. This is a Latin motto that means remember mortality or remember that you have to die.

Artists use memento mori objects such as skulls to encourage people to make the most of their lives. So what do you think Valerie N'Doye is saying with her Smarties skull?

Here's a Tudor memento mori painting called
The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger © National Gallery, London.

Can you see the skull? Click on the link and zoom into the painting.

What objects in the painting tell you that those two rich men are making the most of their lives?

Painting showing two rich men in Tudor costume in standing with objects including a globe and books and instruments to show how clever the men are. There is also an image of a skull in the foreground of the painting as a memento mori to remind the viewer about death and to make the most of life.

Screenshot from website magazine called Bedazzled showing a close up of a skeleton memento mori ring.



How about this memento mori skeleton ring?

See more on pages 44-51 of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery's fab online magazine Bedazzled.

Courtesy BM&AG

Find more memento mori objects on BM&AG's website.

Please note: This story was updated October 2010.

By Rachel Hayward