Ivory bust of General Wallenstein, Europe, after 1634

Made:
after 1634 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory bust of General Wallenstein, a memento mori of half skull half head, mounted on an ebony and metal stand studded with stones from his tomb

Memento mori figures were used to remember the dead and illustrate the fragility of life. In this example, soldier and statesman General Wallenstein from Bohemia, the modern day Czech Republic, is surrounded by objects illustrating the transience of life. These include sand timers, skulls and books. Half of his face has been stripped away to reveal the skull. The stand is studded with a semi-precious jewel reputedly taken from his tomb.

Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein (1583-1634) was a general of the armies of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). This was mainly a religious war between Protestants and Catholics in Europe. However, it was also about political supremacy. Wallenstein was assassinated in 1634 after being accused of high treason.

Related people

Details

Category:
Wellcome (general)
Object Number:
A135809
Materials:
agate, ? material, coral, ? material, garnet, ? material, ivory, jade, ? material, metal
type:
memento mori
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • figure - representation
credit:
Kurtz

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