Scheherazade by Ferenc Helbing, 1914
Death and Dying in the Middle Ages. ~S
Turning Toward Death: The Medievals’ Terrestrial Treatment of Death in Art During the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
Academia.edu: Master’s Thesis (2012)
Throughout the Middle Ages, religious iconography was a main theme of art and the Church heavily patronized works that embodied virtuous ideals. Art was often used as a religious implement in which the Church instructed the illiterate masses. However, art can also represent pain and trauma acting as an outlet for the artist. Virtuous‐themed art still remained an artistic focus during the fourteenth and fifteenth century; however, a noticeable shift can be seen toward vulgar images of the afterlife laced with the realistic transformation of the body after death. Though the concepts of memento mori and ars moriendi existed prior to the fourteenth century, these genres became popularized due to the overabundance of death that suffocated Europe as a whole. This art has been described by many historians and art historians as memento mori, but the subject matter is much more practical than an obsession with the philosophical and transcendental aspects of dying. I argue that this art should be termed as terrestrial, as it specifically focuses on the pragmatic decaying of a corpse and what became of a body once it was of the earth…
Guercino [Giovanni Francesco Barbieri] (Italian, 1591-1666), Neptune on the Ocean Waves. Oil on canvas, 134 x 110 cm.
Faust and Mephistopheles, 1880
Harry Clarke - A small decorative piece from the series of illustrations for Goethe’s Faust. N.d., around 1924
Luis Ricardo Falero, Vision of Faust (Oil on canvas), 1878.
On commedia dell’Arte stages, actual women played the female roles. This painting by Lorenzo Lippi shows an unnamed commedia actress.