Andy Warhol

Self-portrait with skull

About this artwork

After he was shot and critically injured in 1968, Warhol became even more obsessed with the theme of death than he had been previously. Following this, it was ten years before he returned to self-portraiture and when he did, the skull, a traditional symbol of mortality, featured heavily. The inclusion of a skull suggests he was working within the ‘memento mori’ tradition, which aims to remind us that we shall all die. This screenprinted painting is based on one of several photographs of Warhol posing with a skull on his shoulder or head. The diptych format juxtaposes a blood-red version against a muted grey as if all life has disappeared.

see media
  • title:
    Self-portrait with skull
  • accession number:
    AL00225
  • artist:
    Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
  • date created:
    1978
  • measurements:
    Diptych. Each canvas: 40.60 x 33.00 cm (frame: 45.70 x 71.60 x 5.50 cm)
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
  • copyright:
    © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London. 2018.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol