Title

In the Midst of Life We Are in Death

Presenting Author Name/s

Madeline Keller

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Anne Muraoka

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

European History | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology

Description/Abstract

This paper argues that Peter Bruegel the Elder’s The Peasant and the Birdnester functions as a satirical memento mori. Although scholars have identified the painting as a memento mori, they neglect to address the satirical qualities, which is the primary and most important vehicle through which Bruegel drives his message. The Peasant urges the viewer to laugh with him, as the Nest Robber is unaware of his impending death. Instead we laugh at them both, because the Peasant is also about to die. Suddenly we realize that we too are just one step from our own demise.

Session Title

Art History 3

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1306

Start Date

2-2-2019 11:30 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 12:30 PM

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Feb 2nd, 11:30 AM Feb 2nd, 12:30 PM

In the Midst of Life We Are in Death

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1306

This paper argues that Peter Bruegel the Elder’s The Peasant and the Birdnester functions as a satirical memento mori. Although scholars have identified the painting as a memento mori, they neglect to address the satirical qualities, which is the primary and most important vehicle through which Bruegel drives his message. The Peasant urges the viewer to laugh with him, as the Nest Robber is unaware of his impending death. Instead we laugh at them both, because the Peasant is also about to die. Suddenly we realize that we too are just one step from our own demise.