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Death and a Woman (16th Century A.D.)

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© Offentliche Kunstsammlungen Basel; Used with permission

Hans Baldung Grien (German, 1484/84-1545). Death and a Woman (16th Century A.D.). Oil and tempera on limewood. 31.2 x 18.7 cm. Offentliche Kunstsammlungen Basel.

© Offentliche Kunstsammlungen Basel

In the vast geographical expanse that was the Holy Roman Empire in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, popular notions of women as powerfully erotic and seductive arose. Drawing inspiration from the Old Testament story of Eve's involvement in the Fall of Man, some Renaissance intellectuals north of the Alps associated the female sex with evil, witchcraft and the malevolent role of syphilis in the dissolution of medieval society's idyllic idea of love. Now a European special exhibition examines the works of German Renaissance artist Hans Balding Grien (1484/85-1545) and how he and his contemporaries portrayed such anxieties visually.

"Witches' Lust and the Fall of Man: The Strange Fantasies of Hans Baldung Grien" is on view from February 24 through May 13, 2007 at the Städel Museum, Dürerstr. 2, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Telephone: 069-605098-200; Website). The museum is open Tuesday and Friday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Admission is €10 for adults.

This picture comes from one of the many special art exhibitions available to you during Spring and early Summer of 2007. To view the full list of shows, please see this page.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.
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