The Death Influenced Music Of The Medieval And Renaissance Era

1291 Words Nov 4th, 2015 6 Pages
In this essay I will discuss how death influenced artists in the Medieval and Renaissance era. I will do this by explaining the view of death and its sacraments in society. By examining events around this period I can determine the reason behind such attitudes. I will then apply this knowledge to four works by artists from 1400-1500. I will examine how these societal perceptions influenced the narrative behind the work. I will conclude that the view of death and the dying man had a great impact on the art of these periods.

The subject of death in Medieval and Renaissance art was predominant. With the rise of the Black Death during the fourteenth century many art works centred on hell, the dying man, and anthropomorphising death. Instead of being linked with terror and concern, the idea of death became natural. Death became an integral part of life and Ars Moriendi (the art of dying well) became popular. Many artists depicted death as a battle between salvation in heaven and accepting the materialistic delights of hell. “Art works reflected on the awareness of death’s presence in daily life and also, the Christian belief in the afterlife”[1].

Hieronymus Bosch’s “Death and the Miser” summaries this inner battle between salvation and materialistic possession well. It depicts a dying man being tormented by monstrous creatures who try to steal his most prized possessions. Death looms in the door way as the miser locks his gaze on him. The calm look of expectation on the…

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