In memory of the dead

Autumn is the season that reminds us that nothing lasts forever. Just as sure as the leaves fall off the trees, just as sure can we be that we are all going to die. Death is unavoidable, ever-present, a common human condition, and that is why it has always been a popular inspiration in all parts of the art world.

The history of art is filled with vanitas symbols, such as burnt out candles, dead flowers and fragile soap bubbles that point out the emptiness of life, just like the Latin phrase ”Memento Mori” (English: Remember, you are going to die) reminds us of the impermanence of life – that we are here on burrowed time.

At Rosenborg Castle you can experience examples of this in The Treasury. Here you will find both a chalice with a diamond-studded skull and other jewelry with skulls, which was highest fashion in the 1500 and 1600s. At this point in history, Denmark was suffering under wars and disease epidemics, and that is why jewelry with skulls and crossed bones were popular. Survivors could either carry the jewelry as a token of sorrow or bury them with the dead.

The jewelry belongs to a tradition to commemorate and honor the dead, just like the celebrations of this season. The 31st of October many join in on the Irish-American tradition to celebrate Halloween and the first Sunday in November, the church in Denmark celebrates All Saints’ Day that honours all who are not here anymore.

At Halloween, All Hallows Day and every other day, you can experience the scary jewelry in The Treasury at Rosenborg Castle. Check the opening hours and tickets prices or book your ticket online on The Royal Danish Collection’s webshop.

af Rosenborg Slot den 24.10.2019

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