Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gothic Nightmares!

Allegory of the Five Obstinate Monsters

Artist Unknown. 
1575 to 1618. Dutch. 
Allegorical Illustration depicting various destructive character traits
and their effect on innocence and justice.

Allegory of the Transience of Life

Master IAM of Zwolle (1440 – 1504), Netherlands. Vanitas.
Printmakers during the fifteenth century often produced prints
that reflected on the nature of life.
They reminded the viewer that all earthly glories and ambitions
are futile, that Death is the final arbiter and one's actions on earth
have repercussions for the afterlife.
This engraving is a particularly confronting treatment of the subject.
In the centre, Moses holds the Tablets of the Law
toe emphasise that the 10 Commandments are the only true guide
to salvation. Below, in a tomb, a corpse decomposes and turns into a skeleton.

Allegory on Life and Death

Joris Hoefnagel. 1598. Flemish.
Allegory on Life and Death;
an oval panel containing a child seated in front of a rose bush
holding a skull and an hour-glass, surrounded by dead roses,
insects and animals, including a frog, a mouse and a stag-beetle.

Death on a Pale Horse

After John Hamilton Mortimer. 1784. Great Britain.
Death, on horseback, wearing a crown and holding a sword,
trampling over men and women in his path;
behind him fly various beast and creatures. 

Although I am not a great fan of skulls and goriness, but being true to life these images are evocative of ourselves. The artists speak.

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