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Felix Jenewein, The Plague (Pestis) IV



Date: 1901
Technique: Lithograph, printed in colours, 42.9 x 37.5 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: "Madness increases. If [i]t is impossible to stop or to overcome the tyranical invasion of plague, it is better to enjoy, what life can still offer, and to plunge into intoxicating pleasure, as the last remedy against the plague. "By day and by night", says Boccaccio, people flocked into taverns, drinking and revelling, visiting also houses of the worst repute. They made merry, and laughed and jested." That, which Boccaccio describes with his clever pen Jenewein represents still more powerfully in his picture, the madness and intoxication of bacchantic voluptuousness. The lowest filth came uppermost and spread like a new contagion. There is no shame, no moral feeling; everything is drowned in drunkenness, fornication and blasphemy. How the drummer beats the drum, and the mob of half naked men and women, intoxicated with passion reel and stagger!"

Source 1
Source 2

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