Essay on D ' Humana Fragilita ( Human Frailty ) By Salvator Rosa

765 Words Sep 28th, 2015 4 Pages
D’Humana Fragilita (Human Frailty) by Salvator Rosa, painted in oil in 1656, standing at an imposing 77 inches high and 51 inches wide. The painting serves as a harrowing look at the human condition and the fragile line between life and death. Presently, the piece is located in The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK. This piece was painted when the plague was rampant throughout Italy and it plays a notable role in the painting itself. The scene depicted shows the Angel of Death visiting a young child. Death is guiding the child’s hand as he signs a scroll, possibly a contract while the mother unknowingly cradles the child on her knee. Two other children are seen to the right of the mother, a pair of butterflies gather near them, one of the children is blowing bubbles cheerfully, while the other carefully lights a torch. To the left, sitting below the mother, is an owl, a harbinger of poor fortune. At the very bottom of the canvas a rocket and a knife can be seen, one of the bubbles float dangerously close to a blade. A tall, vertical pillar on the far left of the painting features four reliefs; an infant, a man, a fish and a hound. A shorter pillar is on the far right, a bust of a man is resting on the top.
There is a strong usage of deep golds and dark hues to throughout the piece conveying the overall dreary tone; for example, the sky is almost pitched black besides a very small amount of moonlight shining through the clouds. A majority of Death fades away into the…

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