The Dregs of the People Remain: The Black Death and its Aftermath

It is possible to see a shift in artistic tastes following the plague years which began in the mid C14th. This is understandable considering that we now know that certainly 50% and perhaps 60% of the population of Europe and beyond perished in the first wave and that the disease recurred over the next 130 years.

There is a distinct increase in interest in the macabre, but also in explorations of what will happen in the next life; some of it surprisingly optimistic and amusing. We see more interest in ex-pagan images and specific demands for spiritual protection and so what might be seen as a dust-to-dust mentality also becomes one of no tragedy, no triumph.