This is a little series I've been thinking about doing for a while, showcasing the surprising beauty that can be found surrounding death and dying.
For the first comp I thought we'd start off with one of my favorite facets of morbid artistry: coffins, caskets, and other burial boxes.
Traditionally, coffins are a six-sided constructions, where as caskets are four sided (although these terms differ from country to country and language to language.)
My favorite type of coffins are Victorian glass top coffins, which have a glass window inlaid in the lid.
These were often used because, at the time, people didn't know exactly how diseases worked, and this glass would allow the body to be viewed without risk of “miasma” (contagious fumes that people believed corpses could give off) being transferred to the living.
Some of these coffins had a second lid to cover the glass pane, to prevent the glass from breaking under the weight of dirt during burial.
Metal coffins, sometimes more closely resembling an actual body, were another choice. They prevented grave robbery which was rampant at the time. Some of these also came equipped with glass viewing panes.
Caskets are of a rectangular construction, and are what are most commonly seen today. They range from plain wood to ornate metal.
Some caskets are a completely different shape altogether, like these from the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, Austria.
Caskets to be displayed in a vault instead of buried were much more ornately decorated as visitors would be able to appreciate the designs.
Sarcophagi are traditional Egyptian coffins. Often the inner sarcophagi were shaped like the body, while the outermost was a rectangular box.
The sarcophagus would be decorated with hieroglyphs that detailed the life of the deceased, or held protection spells for the deceased to pass safely into the afterlife.
“Burial shrouds” can refer to either a wrapping for bodies made of cloth, or the clothing that the deceased is to be buried in. As a form of “coffin”, their exact construction varies. Some are embroidered while others are left plain, or decorated with flowers.
Woven caskets are yet another option, and they come in varying shapes and colors. They are considered more eco-friendly as they will degrade faster than solid wood coffins.
They can be made of many materials including:
Hopefully the formatting isn't too messed up since I made this on mobile, but anyway I hope y'all enjoyed. I'll be covering ossuaries, catacombs, and crypts in the next comp.