Death and The Maiden

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Death and The Maiden:

The genre “Dance and the Maiden” has origins in Dance of the Death.  In many Dance of the Death representation,  a skeleton personifying Death is shown with a beautiful lady.  However, most cases, these are not shown as erotic.  But as time passed by,  the images became more sensual. Now, dance was not essential, but  instead there was intense, intimate and sometimes erotic relationship between the skeletal death and the maiden. It is a reminder of life’s brevity and the dangers of vanity. One popular name associated with this is of German painter and printmaker Hans Baldung Grien.

 

Death Art entered the mainstream art in the late Medieval Period. This period was characterized by recurring famine, the Hundred Years War between France and England [1337—1453]; and the Black Death; which together decimated a large proportion of the population of West Europe. The Black Death alone killed about a third of population. The threat of death loomed large in people’s daily lives and under these conditions, the theme of death found it’s way in literature and arts in various forms..
- Dance of Death /Danse Macabre click here..
- The Triumph of Death click here..
- Death and the Maiden click here..

 

 

Dance of Death

Dance of Death

 

In the above image, we see the Dance of Death, where Death personified as skeleton dances with a young woman. There is nothing sensual in this.  But when we talk about the genre,  Death and the Maiden, the imagery is much more intimate, sometime  erotic, as seen in other images.

-The name most associated with the “Death and the Maiden” genre is of  German painter and printmaker Hans Baldung Grien.  The images of  some of his work “Death and the maiden” [1517] can be seen on Wikipedia, [click here.. and  here..]

- Edward Munch’s 1894 painting,  “Girl and Death”,  click here..

 

Below are some images from the Richard Harris Collection..

 

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