Diseases in the art of The beautiful SchreckenVon Cholera, Aids to Covid-19: For hundreds of years, artists hold the end of the pandemics in, from today’s point of view, the aesthetic works.Annik Hosmann0 comment fell ill with the Spanish flu and painted then self: Edvard Munch, “self-portrait after Spanish influenza”image: Edvard Munch/Munch Museum

Threatening the many closely crowded figures in the portrait woodcut by Albrecht Dürer. “The four horsemen of the Apocalypse” is the title of the work, which was published together with other 1498. Its grim (in the Bible inspired) vision of the future Dürer was, among other things, with a rider that stands for diseases, and in more recent interpretations as a “pestilence” is referred to.

Also Nicolas Poussin’s painting “The plague of Ashdod” by 1630/31, shows the horrors of the disease, and as a kind of curse from God. The first pandemic of the mankind, broke out in the last few centuries, again and again, and employed the art world.

unlike the plague, the Spanish flu is that the first European pandemic of the 20th century. Century and roughly 50 million deaths, defeated. They, too, became the subject for artists. Very well known about a series of Edvard Munch, who suffered from the disease, and after his recovery, weak sitting in a chair or hunched self-malte.

Nice, ill women

Almost as a female ideal of beauty the symptoms of tuberculosis disease: the emaciated body, the paleness of the visible veins, the by the fever slightly reddened lips were for a long time. Charlotte Brontë described the disease as “flattering”, and there are a variety of portraits from the late 18th century. Century, the show beautiful, but the sick women.

From today’s point of view, the bizarre may seem, but a similar phenomenon occurred in the 1990s with the “Heroin Chic”. Tuberculosis is often referred to as the artist illness. Many Creative people suffer from it (about Modigliani, Chopin, and Franz Kafka) and worked intensively with the disease – the most famous example of Thomas Mann’s novel “The magic mountain”.

Also Covid-19 in the art

reached set Also with the Coronavirus have from artists, for example David Hockney. Unlike Dürer or Munch, he painted not but the dread specter of a pandemic, but wants to give hope. Hockneys work from the year 2020 does not mean: “Do remember they can’t cancel spring”; forget that you are not able to cancel the spring.

The first pandemic of the 20th century. Century in Europe, claimed many victims, including artists such as Egon Schiele. Edvard Munch has survived the Spanish flu, he has painted after his recovery, several times even.

David Hockney shows no horror, but to beauty: David Hockney, Do remember they can’t cancel the spring, 2020Bild: David Hockney

The 82-Year-old is in his house in Normandy in Isolation. Hope he loses, and he wants to convey with his daffodils image of the world. Is caused, by the way, like others in the series on the iPad.

Nan GoldinAus the times of the Aids crisis: Nan Goldin, Gilles and Gotscho embracing, 1992Foto: Nan Goldin

The American photographer is considered to be a kind of Chronicler of the AIDS crisis; in their the whole work is intense with violence, sexuality and death apart. As a result of the often intimate photos, which regularly are your friends.

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