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An image of The comedy of death by Rodolphe Bresdin

Rodolphe Bresdin

(France 1822 – 14 Jan 1885)

The comedy of death
Alternative title:
La comédie de la Mort
Media category
Materials used
iv of 6 states

34.5 x 25.3 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r., [inscribed on stone] "Rudlphe Bresdin...". Not dated.
Purchased 1990
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

In his decadent novel ‘À Rebours’ (Against Nature) J.K. Huysmans describes this print, an impression of which hangs on the wall of the anti-hero’s apartment: ‘In an unlikely-looking landscape, bristling with trees, coppices and clumps of vegetation, all taking on the forms of demons and phantoms, and covered with birds with the heads of rats…some willows rise, surmounted by skeletons who are waving a bouquet with their arms in the air, while Christ flees away through a dappled sky, and a hermit with his head in his hands meditates in the depths of a grotto, and an unfortunate lies dying, worn out by privations, with his feet before a pond.’

Bibliography (2)

Renée Free, Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, Sydney, 1995, 8.

Peter Raissis, Look, 'Diverse, individual and imaginative', pg.24-27, Newtown, Jul 2009, 27 (illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Jul 1995–17 Sep 1995

Printmaking in the age of Romanticism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Aug 2009–25 Oct 2009