The Easel

Art After the Plague

Visions of death, inspired by history’s famous plagues. That most efficient of killers, the Black Death, is represented as “a gaunt, hollow-eyed woman”, wielding a scythe. A frescoe shows a cavalier on a “pale horse”, shooting diseased arrows. Poussin portrayed human chaos delivered by rats amidst Rome’s “serene architecture’. And Munch painted a hunched figure battling Spanish flu where “even the midnight sun cannot dispel the chill terror of death.”