Image of Death (Imago Mortis), from the Nuremberg Chronicle

A work made of woodcut in black hand colored with brush, stencil and watercolor on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodcut in black hand colored with brush, stencil and watercolor on cream laid paper.

Date:

c. 1493

Artist:

Michael Wolgemut and Workshop
German, 1434-1519

About this artwork

This brightly colored leaf from The Nuremberg Chronicle shows five cheerful skeletons and decaying cadavers dancing, playing music, and emerging from a grave. One tosses its bluish entrails about like a dress train, while others rattle dry bones. Fingerprints appear on the right side of this evidently well-thumbed page. A user also bracketed the text below that begins, “Nothing is better than death,” underscoring the importance of the memento mori (Remember you must die) message offered by the work. The Nuremberg Chronicle was also available uncolored, in black and white; an example is displayed in its entirety nearby.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Michel Wolgemut

Title

Image of Death (Imago Mortis), from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Origin

Germany

Date

1488–1498

Medium

Woodcut in black hand colored with brush, stencil and watercolor on cream laid paper

Dimensions

194 x 225 mm (block); 445 x 308 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Joseph Brooks Fair Fund

Reference Number

1944.685

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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