Page 235. " The Grim Reaper. "

The personification of Death. Usually depicted as a skeleton carrying a scythe and dressed in a black cloak. This image shows a typical portrayal, of the Grim Reaper bringing cholera to the people.

Page 246. " It was the terrible 'Triumph of Death' by Breughel. "


"The Triumph of Death" is a famous painting by 16th century artist Pieter Breugel the Elder. It is a vast panorama depicting an army of skeletons killing the people. Key features of the painting are the army of skeletons holding up coffin lids as shields; skeleton dogs hunting the living; religious figures helpless in the face of death; and the blackened and ruined landscape. It is a chilling image, full of death and destruction.

Page 246. " The Fall of the Angels "

This painting is probably Bruegel's "The Fall of the Rebel Angels".  It depicts the rebel angels being flung from heaven down to a variety of hideous monsters. Despite its unpleasant subject matter, Bruegel's excellent use of colour makes this a rather beautiful painting.


The Fall of the Rebel Angels
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Fall of the Rebel Angels - Credit: Rama
Page 246. " the dumbly passive and degraded damned of Bosch "

Hieronymus Bosch was a 15th century artist famous for the heavy emphasis on religious and moral issues in his work. Many of his pieces depict the fate of the damned and the horrors of hell. This piece, "The Fall of the Damned into Hell," is a classic example.

Page 246. " the bloated, coffined corpses of Traini "


Franceso Traini was a 14th century Italian artist. His work often focussed on death.  "Il Trionfo della Morte" (above) depicts the Black Death. In the bottom lefthand corner, two corpses lie in coffins. 

(some scholars attribute this work to Buonamico Buffalmacco)

Page 246. " the monstrous horsemen of Dürer "

Albrecht Dürer was a 16th century German painter and printmaker. His famous series of fifteen woodcuts, "Apocalypse", depicts scenes from the Bible's Book of Revelations. This image shows "The Revelation of St John: 4, The Four Riders of the Apocalypse."