Triumph Of Death — Fresco In Palermo, The Dance Of Death, & The Aragonese Kings Of Naples

February 5, 2015 in Humans

The “Triumph of Death” is a wall-fresco that was originally painted in/for the Palazzo Sclafani, in what is now southern Italy, in 1446. A couple of centuries after that, the fresco was stripped, divided into four separate parts, and put on display the Regional Gallery of Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo.

It’s currently thought that the work is likely to have been commissioned directly by the Aragonese Kings of Naples — most likely to a (now unknown) Catalan (or maybe Proven├žal) painter. While the overall themes are typical for the time, the work is notable for its stressing of the macabre, cruel, and grotesque. Perhaps at the request of the commissioner?

Triumph of Death fresco Palermo
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The Triumph Of Death — Pieter Bruegel The Elder, The Black Death, Two Monkeys, & The Eighty Years War

January 19, 2015 in Humans

This is a bit of a detour from what we normally post about here, but it’s a worthwhile one — The Triumph of Death, painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder back in c.1562. Given that “peasant Bruegel” was born in 1525, and died in 1569, the creation of this painting dates to only a few years before his death.

The painting dates to a very tumultuous period of time for the region where Brueghel lived — at the time part of the Habsburg Netherlands, now part of Belgium. The creation of the painting predates the start of the Eighty Years War (1568-1648) by only a couple of years — and really seems to capture something of the spirit of the times.
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