Oil on canvas
unframed, 29 x 40 1/8in (73.7 x 101.9cm)
Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin, by exchange
Nature Morte Macabre evokes the artistic trope of memento mori, the depiction of a human skull serving as reminder or warning of the inevitability of death. The title of this painting includes the words morte, meaning death, and macabre, which describes something disturbing or horrifying. In addition to the dark subject matter, Eugene Berman’s color palette of greens, teals, browns, and yellows adds to the eerie atmosphere. Notice at the top left of the painting a small, crumbled paper pinned to the wall that includes the artist’s initials, E. B.
Eugene Berman (American, b.1899, d.1972)