The exact creation date of this figure is unknown, as is the maker.
“Look closely at this wooden corpse in a coffin and you will notice worms coming out of the body’s stomach. ‘Memento Mori’ statues were used to remind people of the transience of life and material luxury.” – Image Description.
This image was made somewhere between 1315 to 1317. That makes it over 700 years old! The story behind this art piece is very dark.
From the Apocalypse in a Biblia Pauperum illuminated at Erfurt around the time of the Great Famine of 1315–1317. Death (“Mors”) sits astride a lion whose long tail ends in a ball of flame (Hell). Famine (“Fames”) points to her hungry mouth.
The Great Famine was the first of many crises that occurred in Europe in the 14th century. This Famine caused millions of deaths. The period was marked by extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, and even cannibalism and infanticide. Read more on Wikipedia.
“The old gods in their many shapes and sizes are as diverse as the people who worshiped them. Before the arrival of monotheism on the world stage, tribes and or other pagan kingdoms were bowing down to an entire pantheon of deities, some good, and some bad and all responsible for everything that’s happening around the world. Each of these gods has a story to tell in terms of its origins, its purpose, and its relation to its worshipers.” – Video Description.
“Moral work that shows the triumph of Death overly worldly things, symbolized through a great army of skeletons sweeping the Earth. In the background a barren landscape appears where scenes of destruction still unfold…” – Image Description.