Skeletons, Death, and Bubbles

Skeleton art in not universally beloved. My mom, for example, is not a fan. It’s creepy. But, I’ve had a lifelong soft spot for it and have always found it compelling. (Perhaps too many Pirates of the Caribbean rides at Disneyland and Social Distortion records when I was younger.) Anyhow, I was intrigued by Devon Preston’s story in Inked Magazine about the meticulous artwork found at the Michaelsberg Abbey in Bamberg, Germany. Built in 1015 under the Order of Saint Benedict, it operated as an abbey until the early 19th century.

Most interestingly, the abbey was decorated with plaster work by an artist named Johann Georg Leinberger. According to Preston, “Leinberger decorated the chapel between 1729 through 1731 and is best known for the piece ‘Death Blowing Bubbles.’ This particular illustration is said to symbolize ‘life’s fragility’ and remained intact despite the building being turned into a hospital in 1803.” Her story includes seven other photos of skeleton plaster art pieces. “Leinberger depicts death in many forms throughout the chapel and the work is modeled within the Rococo style,” Preston reports, “which was popular throughout France and Italy at the time.”

See the rest of the skeleton pieces HERE

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