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Peter Brueghel's painting “The Triumph of Death” is unusually gloomy. It depicts the triumph of death, which reigns in everything. There is a truly global end to all of humanity, although here, unlike the artist’s earlier paintings, there is no devilry.
Suddenly, it happened that the laws were broken, and a certain boundary between the kingdom of the living and the kingdom of the dead, which was not reliable enough, was broken.
The painter did not come up with this plot. Even in the Middle Ages, similar motifs existed in icons. In such pictures, death with an eternal scythe begins to rule the world.
Bruegel combined the motives that existed before him and created something of his own. In his interpretation, death mows everyone. The painter also introduced an element of mockery of people (death seems outwardly merciful). Bruegel creates a panorama, watching everything that happens from above.
Some are trying to resist. So a tall man tries to resist Death, but in vain. We see a couple of lovers who make music and are completely unaware of what will happen in the next moment.
In the process of careful consideration of details, it is striking that hundreds of skulls and skeletons are scattered everywhere. The artist manages to portray seemingly monotonous skulls in such incredible positions that they acquire a certain facial expression.
The earth is completely empty and barren. Instead of vegetation, there are gallows and wheels for execution.
The painting depicts the court of the dead. We see on a dais skeletons dressed in a kind of white toggle. They are like a tribunal. Bruegel's contemporaries recognized in such a scene a clear allusion to the Holy Inquisition and its tribunal.
Brueghel’s work is more than relevant, but its meaning is hidden under absolutely traditional plot motifs.
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