View full screen - View 1 of Lot 588. A memento mori with a skeleton, a snake, and an apple.
588

German School, 18th century

A memento mori with a skeleton, a snake, and an apple

Estimate:

4,000

to
- 6,000 USD

German School, 18th century

German School, 18th century

A memento mori with a skeleton, a snake, and an apple

A memento mori with a skeleton, a snake, and an apple

Estimate:

4,000

to
- 6,000 USD

Lot sold:

8,820

USD

German School, 18th century

A memento mori with a skeleton, a snake, and an apple


inscribed in Latin upper right:  Non terrori, verum /Lætitiæ, Solam Spem / in DEO habenti, fu-/tura sum;  further inscribed in old German script:  Ich will demjenigen, der seine / Hoffnung auf Gott alleine / setztet, kein Schrecken sondern Freude? zurufen

oil on canvas

canvas: 23 7/8 by 19 1/2 in.; 60.5 by 49.5 cm.  

framed: 30 1/2 by 26 in.; 77.5 by 66 cm. 

The canvas is lined and taught on its stretcher. The painted surface is stable with no areas of lifting. The painting is slightly dirty with some thinned areas in the darks and shadows, including to the left of the skeleton head and in the robed shoulder of the skeleton. The colors of the dragon at lower right are still vibrant. Inspection under UV reveals a thick varnish, beneath which there may be older campaigns of retouching. More recent scattered and brushy retouching and strengthening is scattered here and there throughout, largely concentrated in darker tones, with a more concentrated spots along a seam that runs the height of the painting towards the right third of the painting and in the background and shadows close to the right edge and lower right corner. There is a small restored repair in the background above the skull's head . Offered in a carved giltwood frame with a decorative liner.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

This memento mori, which means "remember you must die," is also filled with symbols alluding to original sin. Before the skeleton draped in a grey hood is a half eaten apple and a colorful serpent wraps itself around the skeleton and winds through the dark and dramatic scene. In the background at upper right are two inscriptions, the first in Latin and the second in German. The German loosely translates as:  I want to shout joy, not horror, to those who hope in God alone.