Dec 6, 2007

Dance of Death: Death the Strangler

Dance of Death: Death the Strangler


Alfred Rethel

(German, 1816-1859)


Image: 30.7 x 27.4 cm (12 1/16 x 10 13/16 in.); Sheet: 50.3 x 36.5 cm (19 13/16 x 14 3/8 in.)

Gift of Robert Hays Gries 1939.620

Catalogue raisonné: Beraldi XI.190



Death the Strangler refers to an event of some twenty years earlier in Paris, as the caption explains: "The first outbreak of cholera at a masked ball in Paris in 1831." Rethel was influenced by 16th-century images of death, such as Hans Holbein's Dance of Death (on view in gallery 109). Here, the artist's interpretation of death as an overwhelmingly menacing force derives from Albrecht Dürer, whose Apocalypse: The Four Horsemen (also on view in gallery 109) depicts death as a destructive power sweeping away everything in its path.

See also
PR - Woodcut
Type of artwork: 

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