Death Surprising a Woman, c. 1490-c. 1540


Bequest of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.68.220

Not on Viewexpand_more

A sturdy woman, who looks as if she just arose from a Michelangelo tomb, inspects herself in the mirror. But, this moment of vanity will not last. A wheel and a wing indicate the fleeting and unpredictable fortunes of life, and the certainty of Death's arrival is underscored by the Latin inscription, meaning "Made human, they shall perish." Is the "M" monogram a nod to Michelangelo or the signature of an unidentified engraver' The answer seems to have followed the artist to the grave.

Death Surprising a Woman
Artist Life
c. 1490-c. 1540
Accession Number
Paul Davidsohn, Lugt 654; Arthur Harlow, 1926
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch 1; Nagler IV 1439
Curator Approved

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