Skeletons, also known as Allegory of Death and Fame

(Italian, 1490–1540)
a design by
(Italian, 1494–1540)
Support: Cream(1) laid paper, perimeter mounted to cream(3) laid paper (Chatsworth mount)
Sheet: 30.9 x 50.8 cm (12 3/16 x 20 in.); Secondary Support: 41.2 x 61.2 cm (16 1/4 x 24 1/8 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch 424 ( XIV.320) ; Passavant VI. 60.93
Location: not on view
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Although for centuries scholars have attempted to understand the allegorical meaning of this print, 16th-century artist and author Giorgio Vasari described it simply as “an anatomy of desiccated nudes and of bones of the dead.” A central figure of winged Death stands over an interred skeleton, surrounded by a variety of skeletal and living human figures who appear to debate the fate of the soul. At far left is a “marasmic” man, a type of sun-dried body used by anatomists to study the muscles without removing the skin. Rosso Fiorentino, who designed the composition of this print to be engraved by Agostino Veneziano, was a Florentine contemporary of Michelangelo who planned a book on anatomy that was never published.
Skeletons, also known as Allegory of Death and Fame

Skeletons, also known as Allegory of Death and Fame


Agostino Veneziano, Rosso Fiorentino

(Italian, 1490–1540), (Italian, 1494–1540)
Italy, 16th century

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