Details of Totentanz – XVI C. Germany (Artist Unknown)

Sacristy painting commissioned by the Observant Franciscans. The catalogue description did not give many details, but I would guess by the costumes that this was made somewhere between 1560’s to 1580’s. The theme of the Dance of Death was hugely popular throughout multiple periods of European history, and saw a particular revival after the 1538 series by Master Holbein the Younger, whose works were widely distributed with the advent of the printing press.





Credit: The dance of death. Oil painting.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Il Trionfo della Morte – Francesco Traini, C. XIV

Facsimile of a fresco by Traini, exposed to nature for centuries but severely damaged in WWII,  located in Camposanto, Pisa.

“A scroll warns that ‘no shield of wisdom or riches, nobility or prowess’ can protect them from the blows of the Approaching One. ‘They have taken more pleasure in the world than in things of God.’ In a heap of corpses nearby lie crowned rulers, a Pope in tiara, a knight, tumbled together with the bodies of the poor, while angels and devils in the sky contend for the miniature naked figures that represent their souls.”
-Barbara Tuckman, The Black Plague

Artist Spotlight – Scurvy Drunkard

Shyarn Koenitz, aka Scurvy Drunkard, is an up-and-coming multimedia artist based in Australia. She first attracted my attention with the paintings she makes with her own blood. Everything she produces is deeply disturbing, and I absolutely love it! Her work touches on themes of fear, body horror, consumption, magic, Eros, and so much else. Who knows what twisted and depraved ideas will come pouring out of her mind at any moment?! See more on her Instagram.

Some of my favorite work of hers, featured below.