Funerary art is a form of art encompassing objects, paintings and sculptures related to death and generally to accompany the remains. Such objects may include the personal property of the deceased, objects created specially for the burial or reduced bersions of objects for a supposed afterlife versions. Knowledge of many non-literate cultures is drawn largely from these sources.
Funerary art can serve many cultural functions, although usually it is a cosmetic attempt to capture or express emotions or beliefs about the afterlife. It can play a role in burial rites, serve for use by the dead in the afterlife, or celebrate the life and achievements of the dead. It can also function as a reminder of the deadly nature of man and as an expression of cultural values and roles, as contributing to appease the spirits of the dead, get their benevolence, or preventing their unwelcome intrusion into the affairs of the livings. Many cultures have gods psychopomps as the Greek Hermes and Etruscan Charun, who help lead the spirits of the dead in the afterlife.
The object repository with an apparent aesthetic intention back to the Neanderthals there are over 100.000 years, and it is known to almost all subsequent cultures – Hindu culture is a notable exception. Many of the best-known past cultures artistic creations as the pyramids of Egypt and the tomb of Tutankhamun, the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the boat-grave Sutton Hoo and the Taj Mahal, are tombs or objects found in and around them. In most cases, funerary art is produced for the powerful and the rich, while the graves of ordinary people include simple monuments and funerary objects.