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Death and the Maiden

Photo credit: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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This allegorical painting shows a young woman playing a lute, with the elderly male figure of Death behind her. Death holds a skull in one hand and a looking-glass in the other. A Latin phrase in the top right of the picture reads `MORS/ULTIMA/LINEA RERUM EST' ('Death is the thing which is last in line' - from Horace, 'Epistles' 1,16,79). This painting shares close similarities with a very small group of works which include 'The Allegory of Man' and 'The Allegory of the Wise and Foolish Virgins' (in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Copenhagen).

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on panel

  • Measurements

    65 x 49 cm

  • Accession number

    SBT 1993-30

  • Acquisition method

    purchased, 1993

Normally on display at

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6QW England

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