Collection Online
bromoil print
(31.1 × 35.5 cm) (image)
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of C. Stuart Tompkins, 1971
Gallery location
Not on display
Joos van Craesbeeck was the only known pupil of the Flemish genre painter Adriaen Brouwer and became a leading painter known for his quirky, often macabre, sense of humour. This homely scene reflects his characteristically wry view of mortality. A skeleton creeps up on an elderly woman, who is surrounded by familiar symbols of death. Outside, a second skeleton takes possession of a coffin in a churchyard. Behind the woman a message warns the viewer that ‘No bird, flesh or fish has ever dodged it, they don’t miss shooting’. A second inscription states: ‘My body is/has been preserved; I know not where my soul dwells’.