The Rapture of Death

1st Edition SOLD OUT
2nd Edition SOLD OUT
Hardcover, 255 pages, 100x105mm

Price $35 + postage
Written by Prue Gibson
Publisher Boccalatte Publishing, Sydney, 2010
Design Suzanne Boccalatte

This unusual art book is a philosophical enquiry into the use of deathly imagery in contemporary art. It explores art and also literature, film and history to investigate why fear of death is an intrinsic part of life.

The Rapture of Death is the experience of delight upon escaping grave danger. It offers the sweet knowledge that you are safe, at least for the moment, from the clutches of darkness. Prue Gibson.

This literary non fiction art book is a protracted, personal and accessible essay into the meaning of mortal fear and its related symbols, myths, rhapsodies, warnings and curious obsessions. Small, tactile and collectible, the book stalks monsters, nineteenth century ghost traditions, skulls, taxidermy, seventeenth century wunderkammer and the latest ‘curiosity art’ to find some answers. Discussions of burial poles, fetish and the glorious wings of angels add to the writer’s attempts to uncover our deepest deathly fears.

Writer Prue Gibson worked at the AGNSW until 2003 when she started freelance art writing on visual art, design and architecture for The Australian, Vogue, Asian Art News, Australian Art Review, Artist Profile, Art Monthly, Australian Art Collector, Green Magazine and more.

Contemporary artists discussed and reproduced: Shaun Gladwell, Bill Viola, Sam Leach, Tracey Moffat, Michael Zavros, Rosemary Laing, Nell, Anne Judell, Joan Ross, Ben Cauchi, Ricky Swallow, Danie Mellor, VR Morrison, Adam Cullen, Ben Quilty, Marian Drew, Julia De Ville, Kate Rohde, Michael Riley, Andrew Browne, Jo Bertini and Sharon Green.

15 Responses to “The Rapture of Death”
  1. Congratulations on what sounds like a very intriguing and fascinating subject.

    Thank you for daring to take this journey for all of us.



  2. kate smith says:

    The Rapture of Death is beautiful
    This book has only been achieved with true talent, tenacity and pure artistic passion.

    I can only read it in awe…… Congratulationsx


  3. Susie Bennetts says:

    This is a wonderful idea for a Book….. Prue Gibson is right! Life is heightened by escaping grave danger. Will be interested to see the artwork of the contemporary Artists listed.

  4. Alex Doyle says:

    What a beautiful book ….. this would make a wonderful curated exhibition to explore this topic further. Congratulations!

  5. Phe Luxford says:

    Crossing my fingers that you will doing another run of this title?? PLEASE!!

  6. monica levy says:

    Fantastic do I get one?

    • admin says:

      Hi Monica,

      It’s available to purchase via this website our you can go straight to our shop at

  7. Julie Holmes says:

    Just thought you’d like to know. :)
    keep the good books coming please!

  8. Josh Heilbuth says:

    Saw the exhibition at the Gippsland Art Gallery!

    Will be making a purchase of the 2nd edition :)

  9. Anita says:

    Hi there

    will there be a 3rd edition?

    in anticipation

  10. Mark says:

    3rd edition?

Check out what others are saying...
  1. [...] that fact that the curator of the box thought they went quite well together. They were part of what Rapture of Death author Prue Gibson calls "that style of 19th Century inquiry." That same style has mixed with local [...]

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