The Skeleton, c. 1531

This nightmarish procession reflects the Renaissance obsession with witchcraft. Four powerful attendants try to control the skeletal monster. The naked woman riding the beast seizes the head of a toddler who may be destined for her cauldron. The scattering birds know that nothing good can come from this unfathomable commotion.

This wondrous image remains a puzzle to art historians. It may have been started by Marcantonio and later completed by one of his most important assistants, Agostino de’ Musi.

The Skeleton
Artist Life
1490-1540 (active 1514-1536)
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Curator Approved

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