Sunday, October 23, 2011

Memento Mori

Memento Mori  "Remember you will die."
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples

An allegorical and symbolic approach to the philosophical theme (Hellenistic origin) of the transience of life and the imminence of death ("memento mori") which, by eliminating the disparities of social class and wealth, restores equilibrium to the vagaries of fate. The upper part of the composition shows a level with a plumb-line, an instrument used by workmen to check the level of buildings. The axis of the plumb bob is death (the skull), while below it is a butterfly (the soul) balanced on a wheel (Fortune). Beneath the arms of the level, which are opposed and perfectly balanced, are the symbols of poverty to the right (the knapsack, the beggar’s stick and the cloak) and the symbols of wealth to the left (the sceptre, purple and the crown).

Occupy Pompei

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