Death and Desire on auction at Christies.
Auction house Christies held an online auction on November 3, 2016, of the late Giancarlo Beltrame’s (1925 - 2011) collection of very rare and unusual prints that explore the eternal themes of love and death.
The collection of 54 prints included fascinating examples of memento mori, vanities, dances of death, spanning from the 15th to the 20th century. Amongst the collection were some well-known prints such as ‘The Carcasse’ by Hans Sebald Beham, Albrecht Dürer’s famous ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’.
Though each print is unique they are united in one clear message - no man escapes the inevitable outcome of death. In one rather haunting print that is just three inches long, by German artist Hans Sebald Beham, a latin engraving translated by Christie’s specialist Time Schmelcher, eloquently states “All human beauty is abolished by Death”.