3/9/12

Felix Jenewein, The Plague (Pestis) II



Date: 1901
Technique: Lithograph, printed in colours, 43.3 x 37.9 cm

One of six plates in a portfolio with title pages and introduction by Karel B. Mádl.

Subject described by Karel B. Mádl as follows: "A universal dying spread over the towns and the country, like a rapacious flood. "Not many bodies were accompanied by a dozen neighbours; the bier was carried, not by honourable, worthy citizens, but by sextons of the lowest people, called plague servants, who were dearly paid for their service and which they performed hurriedly. The priests did not lose time in saying prayers and in performing rites, and buried the bodies in an empty grave ", says Boccaccio. Jenewein is here equally striking and even more intensive than the old author. The sky is dark, the trees uplift sadly their bare branches and the gray outlines of a cathedral loom behind. In the background a long, ghastly procession with coffins hastens onward. Men quake and as a personification of human pain and terror a woman with bloodshot and staring eyes meets the procession; it is a mother, burying her own child."

Source 1
Source 2

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