Death and the Maiden (motif)

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Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen in German) was a common motif in Renaissance art, especially painting and prints in Germany. The usual form shows just two figures, with a young woman being seized by a personification of Death, often shown as a skeleton. Variants may include other figures. It developed from the Danse Macabre with an added erotic subtext. The German artist Hans Baldung depicted it several times.[1]

The motif was revived during the romantic era in the arts, a notable example being Franz Schubert's song "Der Tod und das Mädchen", setting a poem by the German poet Matthias Claudius. Part of the piano part was re-used in Schubert's famous String Quartet No. 14, which is therefore also known by this title, in either English or German.[1]

Selected versions[edit]

  • Painting: Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) by Niklaus Manuel Deutsch I (1517)
  • Painting: Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) by Hans Baldung Grien (1517)
  • Engraving: Death and the Maiden (Døden og Piken) by Edvard Munch (1894)
  • Painting: Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) by Adolf Hering (1900) - the painting is part of a private collection, the location is unknown.
  • Painting: Death and the Maiden by Marianne Stokes (1900)
  • Painting: Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) by Egon Schiele (1915)
  • Drawing: Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) by Clara Siewert (1920s)
  • Drawing: Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) by Joseph Beuys (1959)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Le Mort dans l'Art

References[edit]

Media related to Death and the maiden at Wikimedia Commons