Meyer’s Todtengessängen

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The traditional post for Día de los Muertos is a selection of illustrations by Conrad Meyer (1618–1689) for a Dance of Death from 1650. Unlike some earlier examples this book has a specific religious moral, opening with the expulsion from the Garden of Eden and ending with the triumph of Christ over Death. Given that, it’s surprising the degree of struggle in some of the illustrations, whether in the determination of the skeletal intruders to drag away the mortals they meet, or the reluctance and horror displayed by those mortals. Towards the end there are some details worthy of William Hogarth with revellers puking on unfortunate dogs. Browse the rest of the book here or download it here.

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False perspective

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Satire on False Perspective by William Hogarth (1753).

Whoever makes a Design without the knowledge of Perspective will be liable to such absurdities as are shewn in this Frontispiece.

More eye-deceiving art for All Fools’ Day. Everyone knows MC Escher‘s pictures which continually played with the rules of perspective. Hogarth’s satire is less well-known and may even be the first of its kind. I haven’t seen any examples earlier than this.

A few contemporary equivalents follow, all of which can be found at Impossible World, a site devoted to visual disjunction.

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