Urs Graf (1485- after 1529) was a Swiss Renaissance painter and printmaker (of woodcuts, etchings and engravings), as well as a mercenary soldier. He only produced two etchings, one of which dates from 1513 – the earliest known etching for which a date has been established. However, his woodcuts are considered of greater significance, particularly as he is attributed with the invention of the white-line woodcut technique, where white lines create the image on a black background.
Crippled Devil and Hermit (1512)
He quickly came into conflict with the law for abusing his wife and supporting prostitution, culminating in accusations of attempted murder which caused him to leave the city in 1518. He was allowed to return to Basel the following year, where he continued working, but in 1527 he vanished from the city, never to be heard of again; although there is a signed drawing from 1529.
Devil captures a soldier (1516)
Like many Swiss men of his day, Graf was known to have worked as a mercenary for considerable periods. His artistic output, includes a wide range of subjects, depicting social, erotic, military, political and criminal images (e.g., Two Prostitutes Beating a Monk. (wikipedia)
Two mercenaries and a woman with Death in a tree, 1524
Through it all Graf produced unique artworks reflecting the violence and social circumstances in which he was immersed. These lively prints and drawings incorporate elements of fantasy or the grotesque and erotic (or at least perverse) but are frequently tinged with a satirist's sense of humour. Conversely, his legacy also includes a sizeable number of purely religious prints and book illustrations. Graf almost always signed his drawings, a practice which helped establish sketch work as an individual artistic discipline rather than a mere transitional process. (bibliodyssey.blogspot.com)
Battle of Marignano (1521)
Naked female Fiddler and Fool (1523)
The promotion of a mercenary in a guild house (1521)
H Οφηλία είναι ένας ρομαντικός και ευαίσθητος χαρακτήρας από τον Αμλετ του Σαίξπηρ, η οποία ήταν ερωτευμένη με τον Αμλετ, αλλά αυτός την αγνοούσε ή της φερόταν κυνικά και υποτιμητικά. Σε κάποια στιγμή δολοφονεί και τον πατέρα της και τότε η Οφηλία σχεδόν τρελαίνεται, μιλάει με γρίφους και ρίμες και τραγουδάει περίεργα και «σοκιν» τραγούδια για το θάνατο και το χάσιμο παρθενιάς, κρατώντας λουλούδια, τα οποία έχουν διάφορους συμβολισμούς.
Αργότερα, η βασίλισσα Gertrude ανακοινώνει το θάνατο της Οφηλίας Είχε ανέβει σε μια ιτιά, το κλαδί έσπασε και έπεσε στο ποτάμι και πνίγηκε. Η ανακοίνωση αυτή θεωρείται μια από τις ποιητικότερες ανακοινώσεις θανάτου στην λογοτεχνία.
Η εικόνα της Οφηλίας αθώας και περιτριγυρισμένης με λουλούδια δείχνει να είναι η μόνη αγνή μορφή στο σάπιο βασίλειο της Δανιμαρκίας που τρέφει αγνά αισθήματα.
O πιο γνωστός και δραματικός πίνακας που αποτυπώνει το θάνατο της Οφηλίας είναι αυτός του 1852 από τον Προ-Ραφαηλίτη John Everett Millais.
Ophelia is a romantic and sensitive character in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She was in love with Hamlet, but he ignored her, sometimes abusing her. He also killed her father, and then Ophelia got mad and walked around holding flowers and talked in riddles or sang songs about death and losing virginity.
Later, Queen Gertrude, in her monologue (There is a willow grows aslant the brook), reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch broke and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned. Gertrude says that Ophelia appeared "incapable of her own distress". Gertrude's announcement of Ophelia's death has been praised as one of the most poetic death announcements in literature.
The most dramatic depiction in art of the Death of Ophelia is that of 1852 painting by the Pre-Raphaelite John Everett Millais.
Nikolaj Abraham Abildgaard (1743 – 1809), was a Danish artist. A nearly copy of the classic Fuseli's Nightmare, I have already presented. But this painting, no matter that is almost copy and not so famous, it's much more creepy than Fuseli's.
O Nikolaj Abraham Abildgaard (1743 – 1809)ήταν Δανός ζωγράφος. Αυτός ο πίνακας είναι σχεδόν αντίγραφο του γνωστού ομώνυμου πίνακα του Fuseli που έχω ήδη παρουσιάσει. Αλλά είναι πολύ πιο τρομακτικός από αυτόν, άσχετα αν δεν είναι και τόσο γνωστός.
Και ο πίνακας αυτός χρησιμοποιείται ως αναπαράσταση του φαινομένου της υπνικής παράλυσης που στη λαϊκή φαντασία είναι ένας δαίμονας με το όνομα Μόρα, Βραχνάς ή Incubus/Succubus που μας κρατάει σε ακινησία ενώ είμαστε σε κατάσταση μεταξύ ύπνου και ξύπνου.
A Woman standing on e skull and holding a sundial clock Engraving made by Master MZ, 1500-1503
Some very interesting memento mori focusing on Women's vanity of beauty before death. All were taken from a great collection of grotesque and macabre engravings in Flickr.com. Older similar posts in Metal on Metal Here and Here
Death and the sleeping woman "O. DIE STUND IST AUS" (Oh, the hour has come.') Engraving made by Sebald Beham after Barthel Beham, 1548.
"All human beauty is ended by death"
(omnem in homine venustatem mors abolet) Hans Sebald Beham, 1547
Adam and Eve - Hans Sebald Beham - 1543
Hans Sebald Beham, circa 1520-50
Death and the Indecent Pair Hans Sebald Beham, 1529
Mors ultima linea rerum "Death, the final boundary of things."
MORTALIA FACTA PERIBUNT "Mortal achievements will be destroyed"
Now lets see two more contemporary memento mori/danse macabre artworks:
Danse macabre by geekiest Death escorts goth, as they dance through the fall leaves, souls swirl around them
Modern "Memento mori" by SofieLoafy I was as you are/I am as you will be
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.
Mainly religious painter, Hans Memling (1430-1494) he dealt with themes of life after death (Paradise and Hell), triumph of Jesus Christ, Vanity of Earthly delights, etc. I present the two sided "Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation" (1485 or later), one of his last masterpieces.
Central panel: Vanity Left wing: Death Right wing: Devil and Hell Central panel reverse: Christ in Heaven Left wing reverse: Coat-or-arms Right wing reverse: Skull
Visit www.aiwaz.net to check every part of the triptych in more details and higher resolution.
Dance of Death (1908) It's about the revolution of peasants in Tyrole in 1809: they feel familiar with Death on their side, as they march forward bravely. This work was considered provocatine, antipatriotic and too much communistic, so they denied him a post in Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna
Albin Egger-Lienz (1868-1926) was an Austrian painter, who dealt with agricultural and historical themes in his works. He served as war painter in the army buring A' World War.
Αλλά πάντα από την αποστα- σιοποιημένη ματιά της τέχνης
Εργα τέχνης που απεικονίζουν σκοτεινές πλευρές της ιστορίας και του ανθρώπινου ψυχισμού, όπως ωμή βία, ρατσισμό, κακοποίηση και σφαγές άλλων -ΔΕΝ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΛΟΓΟΚΡΙΝΟΝΤΑΙ!! Πρέπει να αντιμετωπίζουμε πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο την ωμότητα και να πασχίζουμε να την κατανοήσουμε με κριτικό και αποστασιοποιημένο τρόπο, αν θέλουμε να φτιάξουμε έναν καλύτερο κόσμο.
Graphics that depict dark aspects of history—such as violence, intolerance, racism, aggressive nationalism, war and atrocity, abuse of others and of the environment in general—have not been censored. We must confront such harsh images directly—and struggle to critically understand them—if we hope to ever make a better world. ocw.mit.edu