- Museum number
The Triumph of Death; in the centre Death's chariot is pulled by four buffaloes, moving from right to left through a barren landscape; Death stands holding a scythe on a tomb adorned with skulls, bones and black crosses; beneath the chariot are heaps of trampled bodies, among them a bishop and two kings; in the sky, angels carrying souls to heaven on the left and devils bearing souls to hell on the right; illustration to Petrarch's 'Triumph of Death'. c.1480-90
- Production date
- 1480-1490 (circa)
Height: 298 millimetres
Width: 197 millimetres
- Curator's comments
For the volume of text the prints were extracted from see 1883,0310.1+
The print belongs to a series of six engravings illustrating Francesco Petrarch's short poem the 'Triumphs', written between 1340 and 1374. Executed in a style called by Hind the 'Broad Manner', these engravings are now attributed to Francesco Rosselli. For a discussion of the group see the entry for Hind B.II.1.I (P&D 1883-3-10-7).
This impression is the first state of the print. Other examples of the first state are in Berlin, Boston, Cambridge, Hamburg, Milan, Rothschild collection (Louvre, Paris) and Vienna.
The image conforms to conventional early Renaissance representations of the subject.
As Hind suggested, a version of this composition, possibly derived from the engraving, is found in the background of Francesco Ubertini called Bacchiacca's painting 'Portrait of an old man' (in Kassel). A similar landscape of barren trees occurs in Rosselli's large 'Adoration of the Magi'; the fallen warrior in the foreground is comparable to the prostrate giant in the 'David and Goliath' by the same hand (for a comparison see Hind B.III.2, 6 and Mark J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 24, part 2, 1994, pp. 76, 83-84, nos. 061, 065).
This print was issued as a black and white facsimile by the British Museum in 'Reproductions of Prints in the British Museum', New [Second] Series Part I (Early Italian Prints), Published by the Trustees in 1886, where it was number V and described there as 'Florentine School, XV. Century. The Triumph of Death.'; (Shelfmark 245*.b.15).
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Triumphs
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number