Denise Poncher before a Vision of Death

Object Details


Denise Poncher before a Vision of Death


Master of the Chronique scandaleuse (French, active about 1493 - 1510)




about 1500


Tempera colors, ink and gold on parchment


Leaf: 13.3 x 8.7 cm (5 1/4 x 3 7/16 in.)

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Denise Poncher is depicted kneeling with her prayer book before Death, a terrifying skeleton covered in rotting flesh and holding numerous sickles. The jarring contrast between her innocent loveliness and the horrific specter looming above her is heightened by the presence of three victims lying on the ground nearby, who Death has already taken.

This striking image was likely a reminder of mortality and the importance of prayer in protecting the soul.

Related Works
Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages (May 29 to August 12, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 29 to August 12, 2012
Related Media
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    Audio: Denise Poncher before a Vision of Death (Exhibit: DEATH)