Inevitability of Death

Tom, Year 13

  • Painting
  • Oil on wood
  • 1700(w) 1200(h) 4(d) mm

An exploration into human form, particularly into the archetypal characters we see so often in traditional art, led me to this piece. The maiden, representing love and grief is contrasted by the cruel and wicked guards. The prisoner stands for bravery and courage, similar to the common theme of Jesus on the cross, while the hag portrays wisdom. Though faint, the Grim Reaper mirrors the guard by placing his hand on the prisoner's shoulder, implying the choosing of his next victim, however the painting shows that no-one can truly escape death - the severed head, the frail hag being eaten up by shadow, weapons and armour used in warfare and the roses at the guard's feet, symbolic of life being cut short and withering away. Using heavy Caravaggio-style chiaroscuro, warm oil and and large scale really allowed the depth and richness of this piece to shine through