Πέμπτη, 19 Αυγούστου 2010

Infants and Death, Memento mori

Mother and a dead infant with a skull and hourglass
Engraving made by Barthel Beham, 1528-30

Many quite shocking medieval engravings, showing skulls beside infants, or Death carrying them. Nearly all Danse Macabre motifs include skeletons beside infants or children. Ιnfant mortality rate was very high this period, so it is a very common everyday tragic event. All these photos, except the last, were taken fron a very interesting collection in Flickr.com

Landscape with a child seated on a skull at centre,
holding a mirror and a rose.
Another skull in lower right corner.
Engraving made by Augustin Jorisz, 1548-1560.


Child sleeping on a skull
Engraving made by Barthel Beham, 1525


Death and the Child
Woodcut by Sebald Beham, 1520-1550


Death carrying off an infant
Death in profile carrying off an infant,
with a second Death carrying off another child,
with the Cemetery of the Innocents,
Paris, in background.
Etching by Stefano della Bella, 1645-1651


Death carrying a child on his back
Death in centre running towards left,
carrying on his back a child,
Paris, in background.
Etching by Stefano della Bella, Italy, 1645-1651.


Death rocking a child
Charles Emile Jacque, 1845


Died in the middle of any pleasure of society
Memento mori: a corpse, all skin and bones,
lying in a landscape, a scythe in his hand;
around him, putti playing music and singing,
and monkeys chained up to a ball.
Anonymous, 1580.


Michaelskapelle, Freiburger Danse Macabre,
detail, 1557-1559, Germany

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