Abraham Bloemaert

Abraham Bloemaert (1566–1651)
Death and the Lovers
c. 1620–30
Black chalk, pen, and brown ink, brown and red washes, traces of white gouache
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

This moralizing drawing, finished to a high degree with lavish washes, shows a soldier seducing a young woman. Distracted by her sensuousness, he is unaware of the skeletal legs beneath her skirt and of the figure of Death poised to strike with his arrow. A devil hovers above ready to claim his soul. The hourglass, lute, and mirror further underscore the brevity and vanity of mortal life.