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ID number:  BIRBI-55.5/1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Bella, Stefano della (1610-1664)
Title / Object name:  Les cinqs morts - Death on horseback
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Italy
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  1648
Materials:  Etching with engraving
Measurements:  Plate: 191 x 151 mm; mount: 556 x 629 mm
Provenance:  Set purchased from Colnaghi's, November 1954, with 15 others for £95.6.01
BIRBI-55.5.1.jpg

Here, the horse charges out the picture frame, representing the inevitable coming of death. Breaking away from traditional equestrian portraits of rulers and generals, the horse and rider are not a unified partnership. Instead, their struggle is portrayed by the fear in the horse’s eye, the tension of its body and the scream of Death urging it to move forward. Bella’s use of delicate parallel lines for the horse’s mane and tail, Death’s clothing and flag adds to the sense of drama and movement.

1 Related People

Bella, Stefano della
Italian
1610
1664
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