Deaths and Death in Italian Medieval Painting

BERENICE CAVARRA, VALENTINA GAZZANIGA

Abstract


The role played by great epidemics in the composition of the Triumphs of Death and the Dances of the Deaths in Italy from XIVth to XVth century has been recently well discussed by historiographical licterature. The human body has been linked to the idea of frialty and decomposition already before XIVth century; ascetical and penitential ideals have been joined together with critical economical, social and sanitary conditions. European medieval populations were mown down by endemic illnesses and it certainly is possible that these catastrophic events influenced the composition of Triumphs and Dances. 

 

Key words: Triumphs of the Death - Dance of the Death - Plague - Epidemics


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