The English Dance of Death: Thomas Rowlandson’s Scathing Memento Mori 1814-1816 – Design You Trust

The English Dance of Death: Thomas Rowlandson’s Scathing Memento Mori 1814-1816

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The Danse Macabre probably arose in early 15th century Europe as a response to the widespread deaths caused by The Black Death plague. The English Dance of Death by Thomas Rowlandson was released in under-subscribed installments between 1814 and 1816.

A series of 96 hand-coloured engravings that gravitate between grotesque and humorous were perhaps more than a little ambitious, even for this pair, says Paul K, who had already achieved great popularity with their Dr. Syntax comical publications a few years earlier. The remainedered subscriptions were bound in 2 volumes for general sale. There was a 3rd Dance of Life book issued later.

h/t: flashbak

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Death, who never sleeps, uses his time to keep abreast of fashion and dreaming up new creative ways to die. This delights him no end, because Death is always smiling.

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