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  1. File:Thetriumphofdeath.jpg
  2. The Triumph of Death [Pieter Brueghel the Elder] | Sartle - Rogue Art History
  3. Send an e-card about The Triumph of Death c. 1562
  4. Bruegel (Netherlands) (?), 1525 - Brussels, 1569

The triumph of Death In this vision of end of the world, painted by Pieter Bruegel the Older around , Death is at the center. It is armed with a scythe and rides an emaciated horse.

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  7. The Triumph of Death (detail 1).

It pushes men in to a crate which the door is marked of with a cross - obviously a trap door A horde of skeletons invade this landscape; they mow all men without exception, the king as well as the mother and her toddler, the knight as well as the fine ladies, the peasant as well as the lovers playing of the music without noticing the presence of a skeleton behind them.

Some card players try to defend themselves with swords; they have not yet understood that any resistance is futile. The landscape mirrors this death: the trees and the grass are dried out, an infernal fires burns behind the hill, everywhere skeletons kill men and women, by drowning, hanging, cutting throats. A man on theverge of being beheaded cries of mercy in vain, his hands in chains.

There is not even a promise of redemption or resurrection in this picture.


Skeletons toll the bell, there is no hope anymore. It is possible to buy the poster of this work at the store below. Triumphing Death This triumphing Death by Alfred Rethel is part of a series of engravings entitled Another dance of Death of the the year As a matter of fact, this work was not really a dance of Death, Death is not forming a couple with an individual. The engravingbears well its name of " triumphing Death ".

The Triumph of Death [Pieter Brueghel the Elder] | Sartle - Rogue Art History

Death itself sits on his horse in front of a destroyed house. Art historian James Snyder emphasizes the "scorched, barren earth, devoid of any life as far as the eye can see.

Send an e-card about The Triumph of Death (detail 1)

In the foreground, skeletons haul a wagon full of skulls; in the upper left corner, others ring the bell that signifies the death knell of the world. A fool plays the lute while a lady sings; behind both of them a skeleton plays along; a starving dog nibbles at the face of a child; a cross sits in the center of the painting. People are herded into a coffin shaped trap decorated with crosses, while a skeleton on horseback kills people with a scythe.

A skeleton parodies human happiness by playing a hurdy-gurdy while the wheels of his cart crush a man like nothing.

Send an e-card about The Triumph of Death c. 1562

A woman has fallen in the path of the death cart; she holds in her hand a spindle and distaff, classical symbols of the fragility of human life. Nearby another woman in the part of the cart has a slender thread which is about to be cut by the scissors in her other hand. Just below her a cardinal is helped towards his fate by a skeleton who mockingly wears the red hat, while a dying king's barrel of gold coins is looted by yet another skeleton.

In one detail, a dinner has been broken up and the diners are putting up a futile resistance. They have drawn their swords in order to fight the skeletons dressed in winding-sheets; no less hopelessly, the jester takes refuge beneath the dinner table.


In the bottom right-hand corner a troubadour who plays a lute while his lady sings; both are oblivious to the fact that behind both of them, a skeleton that plays along is grimly aware that the couple can not escape their inevitable doom. A cross sits in the centre of the painting.

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The painting shows aspects of everyday life in the mid-sixteenth century, when the risk of plague was very severe. Clothes are clearly depicted, as are pastimes such as playing cards and backgammon.

Bruegel (Netherlands) (?), 1525 - Brussels, 1569

It shows objects such as musical instruments, an early mechanical clock , scenes including a funeral service , and various methods of execution, including the breaking wheel , the gallows , burning at the stake , and the headsman about to behead a victim who has just taken wine and communion.

In one scene a human is the prey of a skeleton-hunter and his dogs. In another scene, a man with a grinding stone around his neck is about to be thrown into the pond by the skeletons— an echoing of Matthow Matthew Bruegel combines two distinct visual traditions within the panel. These are his native tradition of Northern woodcuts of the Dance of Death and the Italian conception of the Triumph of Death , as in frescoes he would have seen in the Palazzo Sclafani in Palermo and in the Camposanto Monumentale at Pisa.