"The first skull portrait was a self-portrait made in 1995 and based on a full frontal x-ray of my skull. 

It was a way to show who the subjects were inside as opposed to how their appeared on the surface. I endeavoured to capture the deeper essence of the subject's identity independent of the criteria we normally use to identify someone: their unique facial features, their age, sex or socio-economic status. 

My goal was to show the subject's essence, beyond the world of form".

Alexander de Cadenet 

"The skull portraits tackle both the the idea of mortality and also the question of how we construe human identity"

Edward Lucie-Smith, 2016


"De Cadenet’s Skull Portraits re-energise the long histories of the painted vanitas….There is a ghoulish humour in de Cadenet’s jest with the skull image: these will persist, of course long after we become crematorium dust"

Sarah Wilson, professor at The Courtauld Institute of Art, (2010)

"In his skull portraits, de Cadenet is using modern art language and processes to communicate the vital spiritual teaching of death in a way that is relevant to our time"

Patrick Howe, author of 'The Awakened Artist', in Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine.

"De Cadenet made art which to some extent parodied the celebrity world which he inhabited"

Harriet Mueller in 'Art of England'