The Black Plague 's Entrance Into Western Europe

1177 WordsJan 8, 20175 Pages
Infected ships entered the Genoise ports in 1347, thus starting the Black Plague’s entrance into Western Europe. One hundred and twenty-seven years later, Vincent de Kastav completed his fresco Dance of Death in Beram, Croatia. The Dance of Death represents the Black Plague, but from a new generation’s viewpoint. It is estimated that England’s pre-plague population was 4.2 million, of which 1.4 million people died. In cities such as Florence, half or two-thirds of the population died. When there is mass panic and a high probability of death, people tend to turn to what previously comforted them and provide hope. The Beram Dance of Death represents religion during the Black Death through the medium and location, the symbolization, and the…show more content…
This is a representation of how the political and religious systems in the Late Medieval Ages treated women as the subordinates of men. It is the woman who attempts to bribe the skeletons with a bowl of coins to try to cheat out of death. None of the other male figures attempt to cheat death. This is significantly similar to the Christian biblical story of Adam and Eve and how it was Eve’s fault for eating the apple and causing orignal sin. The Christian idea and stereotype of women trying to cheat the system and sinning has still be translated through this painting. However, it is clear that the attempts to cheat death are futile and that death has no biases or judgements. Next that follows in line is a merchant, a child, and peasant. The child represents that death has no boundaries for whom it will take. This is why parents immediately rush children to the church for baptism and how the church was an integral part of everyday medieval life. It is interesting to note that these three characters appear before the knight. Since the author painted this artwork after the Black Plague, this discrepancy may refer to the increased demand for skilled farm labourers and the lack of supply due to the Black Death. However, it is notable they the artist was willing to make such a strong statement in his artwork. The Beram Dance of Death represents and teaches religion through the placement and method of
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