- Museum number
Mother and child with a skull and hourglass; a mother standing on the left attempting to nurse her apparently dead child which is resting on a table. Next to the naked baby a skull. Above a windowsill with an hourglass, through the window view of a garden and another building. c.1528-30
- Production date
- 1528-1530 (circa)
Height: 43 millimetres
Width: 64 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The woman's Venetian style dress and the setting give the print an Italianate air. A sixteenth-century lead plaquette by Lorenz Rosenbaum after Barthel's design bears the inscription 'Hodie mihi, cras tibi', emphasising the memento mori theme.
See G. Bartrum, 'German Renaissance Prints', exh. cat., London 1995, no.124.
Text from Bartrum 1995
Literature: Bartsch, 5; Pauli, 6; Hollstein, p. 177.
This engraving of a mother attempting to nurse an apparently dead child with a skull and hourglass nearby is a variation on Barthel's theme of death represented by the contrast of a skull and a child. On this occasion, an Italianate setting is deliberately evoked. The interior scene with a view through a window is an Italian format which Dürer used in his compositions. The woman's costume is reminiscent of Venetian fashion, and, as Waldmann noted, the building seen through the window resembles the tomb of Theodoric at Ravenna (E. Waldmann, 'Die Nürnberger Kleinmeister', Leipzig, p. 87).
The message of Barthel's print is made obvious without an inscription, but a circular lead plaquette by Lorenz Rosenbaum (d. c.1564) based on Barthel's design without the background is inscribed: "HODIE / .MICHI. / CRAS.TIBI" ('today me, tomorrow you') to emphasise the 'memento mori' (Gotha, Schlossmuseum; see I.Weber, 'Deutsche, niederländische und französische Renaissanceplaketten 1500-1650, Munich, 1975, p. 123, no. 145).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1995 Jun-Oct, BM, 'German Renaissance Prints, 1490-1550', no.124
1996 Jun-Aug, Canterbury, Royal Mus and AG, German Renaissance Prints
1996 Nov-Dec, Edinburgh, NG of Scotland, German Renaissance Prints
1997 Jan-Mar, Cardiff, Nat Mus of Wales, German Renaissance Prints
1997 Apr-May, Llandudno, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, German Renaissance Prints
1997 Oct-Dec, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre, German Renaissance Prints
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number