(1) Josef Stammel, The Four Last Things: Death

(1) Josef Stammel, The Four Last Things: Death

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This is represented by a human being at the end of their life in the form of an old male pilgrim, with cross, staff and scallop shell.


Behind him hovers a winged skeleton as the personification of death. This gruesome figure holds in its right hand a winged hourglass to indicate that the sands of life have run out. In its left, it holds a dagger as a symbol of the suddenness of death. The small putti at the feet of the dying man are also holding relevant ‘vanitas’ attributes (soap bubble, empty shell, extinguished and broken candle) to indicate the transience of all things on Earth. And there is the ‘Apple of Sodom’ that falls to dust as soon as it is touched. This motif evokes the words spoken during the Ash Wednesday service: “Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return!”

Skulpturen und Reliefs in der Stiftsbibliothek Admont

  • Sculptural decoration The sculptural work by Josef Stammel in Admont Abbey library There are 16 sculptures and two large reliefs by Josef Stammel (1695 – 1765) in Admont Abbey library. It is probable that 60 of the total of 68 busts ‒ of scholars, artists, poets, sculptors and muses ‒ that decorate…
(up from 8th Century)

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