Arnold Böcklin's "Self-portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle" stands as one of my all-time favorite contemplations on mortality. Here is the mortal artist attempting to create something that lasts beyond his meager allotment of years.
To paraphrase T.S. Ellitot, Böcklin "was much possessed by death and saw the skull beneath the skin." As detailed on Art Spotlight, he became particularly obsessed by death following the loss of his infant daughter Maria, influencing this painting as well as his most famous work, "Isle of the Dead."