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Death by EmiliaPaw5 Death by EmiliaPaw5
“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”
- Oscar Wilde

Death
As a dark Shadow
Beckons his prey
Into the unknown
By a soft whisper
In the soul
- Cindy Cheney

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
- Psalm 103:15-16

An original piece I worked on for quite some time, there is a lot of symbolism, please share what you think each element means to you.

Death personified, she is innocence, seduction and the sweetest temptation to venture into glorious oblivion. Her eyes speak of unimaginable wonders beyond and a time where the ties that bind are forever loosened~Justin Render

This artwork is available as a print. Thank you to the ImagineFX community, you guys helped me so much, you are all awesome :)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-06-01
Suggester said: "Rich in symbolism, this piece features a personification of death that is fittingly haunting and mysterious."

Death by EmiliaPaw5 ( Suggested by lovelessdevotions and Featured by breerothman )
:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :) Not as often as I would like to, I work full time as a graphic designer so that takes up a lot of my time. I can only draw in the evenings.
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:iconbrandonbreezy:
BrandonBreezy Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh... but hey your art is really awesome and I love the symbolism in your images!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks again :)
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:icondanielleivanova:
DanielleIvanova Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ouch! Comment turned funny! I must have accidentally deleted a line or two cause hourglass, cross and candles are certainly obvious. :D I'm pretty sure it's the harp, the fruit and the shell I was wondering about.
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for taking the time to study this painting :) You were right about the bell being a funeral bell. The scarab/beetle was actually a symbol of rebirth in Ancient Egypt (but I guess one needs to die in order to be reborn, so in a way you're right). Interesting take on the flowers, I prefer your take on it, instead of what I used them for :)

To answer your questions, as a symbol, the harp has often represented the unifying of earth and heaven as well as the link between inner spirituality and outer physicality, it represents communication with the divine. The fruit represent how fruitful you were throughout your life, the rotting fruit is basically how we wasted some of our life. The shell is a symbol of resurrection/rebirth (Like in the 'Rebirth of Venus' painting)

Thanks again :)
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:icondanielleivanova:
DanielleIvanova Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks a lot for clearing the meanings out to me. This makes me appreciate the painting even more. :love:
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:icondanielleivanova:
DanielleIvanova Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your depiction of death is indeed gorgeous! The small details are so fun and engaging to look at. All of the birds - I think you chose them very well. You orchestrated all of the elements so fittingly with each other, I almost didn't notice the scythe! :D It was a nice brain game to try and single out all the symbols you put into the painting, and I must admit I failed at some of the less obvious ones like the sand glass and the cross and the candles. I'm guessing the bell represents the mourning chime when someone dies (at least here the church bell chime at every funeral - three times for a man, twice for a woman and once for a child). The beetle is I'm guessing the kind which Egyptians associated with death and the dead tree also seems pretty self-explanatory. As about the flowers, the ones at the very top, that looks like bells remind me of the Convolvulus family, which features bindweed species that smother and kill other plants. 
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:iconshamiesart:
ShamiesArt Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Curse you sold out prints !!!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know! I'm soooory :iconcryingplz:
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:iconshamiesart:
ShamiesArt Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
.... one day!
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:iconkitsuneojou:
KitsuneOjou Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
So I found (and bought) the last of this print at rAge today. It really struck me as something special, and very different from your other works. I love the detail and symbolism. A lot of it has already been covered in the comments, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents of addition:

The scallop - a symbol involved again in Christianity, and also a symbol of the setting sun, linked to death.
The lyre - somewhat of a puzzle for me. I thought of two possible links - the use of the word 'lyre' to refer to a poet's work, which this piece certainly does. Or, Orpheus' weapon in Greek mythology, which he uses to raise the spirits of his companions.
The butterfly - a symbol of metamorphosis, life, death and resurrection. In Japanese symbolism, a butterfly represents a (living or dead) person's soul. Similar beliefs are also found in Aztec and Greek mythology.
The crown is beautiful - a symbol of ultimate authority befitting death, perhaps? The skulls are wonderful, and seemingly an obvious relation to death... but the gems have me stumped. The choice of pearls, and I assume emeralds and amethyst (I do not recognize the yellow stone) I cannot explain, but it really does look amazing. I believe a crown may refer to victory over death.
The bell is one of my favourite parts. To my surprise, I discovered that the broken link in the chain is gravestone symbolism for a death in the family. The bell itself I would link back to religion, and the tolling of a bell at a funeral.
The dead tree growing out of her back - the main branch of the tree is broken. I discovered that this gravestone symbolism is used for someone who died prematurely.

I liked the placement of the fruit in a cornucopia - the symbol of abundance seemingly at odds with the nature of this picture. I also really liked the choice of animals - all South African, I think? I think I recognize the Vine Snake, the Yellow Swallowtail (?) butterfly, Spotted Eagle Owl (?) and White-Backed (?) vulture.
Her hair seems to be touching most of the symbols which she is not actually holding. I'm not sure why, but I love the effect.

Her eyes really scared me at first, but I was really attracted to this print. I really think this is amazing. Thank you!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
First of all thank you for stopping by and purchasing my piece, I really appreciate your support :) Secondly, thank you for putting in a lot of thought in what you think about my piece.

The scallop in this piece is a symbol of babtism and rebirth (sort of like 'The Birth of Venus' piece, where Venus comes out of a shell). There is no right or wrong with symbolism, so your explanation is pretty good as well :) I love hearing everyone's views on it.
Very interesting way of seeing the Lyre, I looked it up just now and it could very well fit in with this piece. Lyre represents end of life, but I also positioned it in such a way that it also represents 'horns', as if this being could be a demon, leading you to hell.
You are spot on with the butterfly- representing a spirit leaving the body.
Once again spot on with the crown - victory over death :)
Nobody has ever noticed the broken link in the chain, and you are very correct - death in the family. Right on with the bell and broken tree, you know your symbolism very well.

I placed the fruit in the cornucopia to show how fruitful one's life is, some of the fruit are rotten, meaning we haven't always used our time on earth wisely. Great that you spotted the exact name of the species ( to be honest I didn't intentionally choose a specific classification of an animal, I just liked the look of them).
I wanted the hair to sort of connect everything, to be a part of everything and be the glue of all in the picture.

Thank you for taking the time to think about my piece, I'm really flattered that you took so much interest in it :)
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:iconmatiazi:
Matiazi Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
Why so few favorites??? I don't understand it! It is wonderful! :wow:
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha no idea, I guess it's not everyone's cup of tea. Thank you :)
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:iconaliciane:
Aliciane Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I suck at symbolism but I'll try :D

The hourglass is obviously symbolising the passing time. The scarab refers to Egyptian mortuary traditions I think. The ring is for "the glad" (I hope this is the English word), which is played when someone dies. The collar and the cross are both used by Catholics for their prayers I think, so maybe when they are afraid of death ? The vulture is here because... well because he always follows the Death :D I'm pretty sure at least one of the flowers is usually brought on the graves or means "death" in the flower language, something like that. I think snake and spider are here because they are dark and scary, I don't know :XD:

In the end there are several thinks on which I have absolutely no clue : the owl and the fish, the shell and the lute :/

But anyway, this is obviously a gorgeous piece, it must have been a long time of thoughts and planning, and an awfully longer time of rendering ^^
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for putting in the effort. Scarabs symbolized renewal of life back in Ancient Egypt. In Catholic religion, the living pray for the deceased person via Rosery. The flowers are: Thistle(the fluffy purple ones) - symbolizes earthly sorrow. Dogwood (pink flowers)- symbolizes resurrection and eternal life. The snake is a symbol of temptation, they are scary indeed haha.

The owl is a symbol of death, but also of wisdom (were you wise throughout your life?) Fish is a symbol of Christianity. The owl killing the fish is sort of like a person sinning or losing their religion/connection with God.

Thanks again, there is a lot more symbolism, but won't give it away, want to see if anyone else wants to give it a shot :)
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:iconaliciane:
Aliciane Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the explanations ! You should offer a quick sketch or a feature or something to whoever will find all the symbols, this will be a hard task :p
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:iconangellicadu13:
angellicadu13 Featured By Owner May 4, 2013
really beuatiful!!!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconlettydays:
LettyDays Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
Beautiful imagery...I'll be thinking about this artwork for a long time...
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm glad you will, there is a lot of hidden symbolism :)
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:iconpopsaart:
Popsaart Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013
Hi Emilia! long time no speak! Nice works as always :)
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey Pappy! I hope you are well:) Thank you!
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:iconpenelloppe:
penelloppe Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing! It's insane and terrifying at the same time!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconpenelloppe:
penelloppe Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome! ;)
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:iconmalanue:
Malanue Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This must be the best depiction of Death I have ever seen! There are many known symbols for death in there but you give it such charm and at the same time something serene as well as a sense of adventure. Very well done!
(Also love the Oscar Wilde quote)
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :) I was trying to be original and give death a different approach
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:iconwaiting-for-wings:
waiting-for-wings Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Stunning!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks
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:iconmoray-eel:
moray-eel Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
that is awesome Emilia... now, about Velocity....
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks Moray :)
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:iconmoray-eel:
moray-eel Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013
:)
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:iconcharly1986:
Charly1986 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
WOW
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:iconwytherwing:
wytherwing Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
outstanding work! :clap:
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :bow:
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:iconwytherwing:
wytherwing Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
you're welcome :)
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:iconslinkyonion:
slinkyonion Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is really great, I love the content and your painting skills as always :) Awesome work all round :thumbsup:
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconascending-storm:
Ascending-Storm Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
This is incredible! Terrific work!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yay, thank you :)
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:iconaocdarkblade:
aocdarkblade Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
Nice work. :)
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconvalkerymillenia:
ValkeryMillenia Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Most amazing piece of art I've seen all month!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww thanks :)
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:iconvalkerymillenia:
ValkeryMillenia Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I mean it ^___^
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:iconthomgirl:
Thomgirl Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
It was a pleasure watching it unfold, thank you for sharing your process!
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:iconemiliapaw5:
EmiliaPaw5 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for being part of the process :)
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:iconhoudashams:
HoudaShams Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
so eerie yet beautiful!
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Submitted on
March 12, 2013
Image Size
797 KB
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