"Disturbing, macabre, and moving: the images in this book examine our enduring desire to make peace with death. Chosen from the spectacular collection of a death-obsessed print dealer from Chicago, Richard Harris, they include art from an array of time periods, places, and traditions. Works by Linda Connor, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Otto Dix, and Francisco Goya are shown alongside Renaissance vanitas paintings, Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcuts, photographs of Mexico's Day of the Dead and eerie snapshots from 1900s of anonymous sitters posing with skulls and skeletons.
The book is divided into five sections (Contemplating Death, The Dance of Death, Violent Death, Eros & Thanatos, and Commemoration), each accompanied by a short introductory text. In these pages we are presented with some of the many faces of death: violent and cruel, benign and playful; death the friend and death the enemy. The epitome of terrible beauty, this book is a reminder of the end awaiting us all. "