(active 1430s)

Disputacioun Betwyx the Body and Wormes

Manuscript, 180 x 180 mm
British Library, London

The picture shows a pen and ink with wash transi image (folio 32v) from Disputacioun Betwyx the Body and Wormes, an illustrated English poem.

The 'transi' or transitory tomb became popular in the early fifteenth century in northern Europe, but not in Italy or Spain. The worldly honours of the deceased are juxtaposed with the mortal body's inevitable decay. The illustration from the Disputacion Betwyx the Body and Wormes shows a well-dressed effigy of a noblewoman. Her richly coloured sculpted image masks her actual physical state, represented below, in which her cadaver is being eaten by worms and maggots.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.