This site gathers artistic representations of death, dead bodies, relics, anatomical specimens and burial instructions to analyze how death altered the category of gender in the early modern period.

These are testimonies of real and symbolic interventions counteracting or re-signifying the loss of sexual markers and gendered behaviours in remains that had been part of gendered human beings.

With their interventions, producers and consumers of human remains (embalmers, artists, the faithful, anatomists) reinstated, effaced or transcended the remains' previous gender identity and the category of gender itself.
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Memento mori with a common death, by Alcalá Yáñez y Ribera (1626)

"I smiled then, and told him: Your Grace, sir, you have not understood this mystery: you will have to know that this image that you mention is a…

Eve, the Serpent and Death, by Baldung (1510, c.)

Eve, the Serpent and Death, by Baldung (1510, c.)

The image shows two figures, a young woman naked and holding an apple and a young man whose body is decomposing and part of his skeleton is showing.…

Death of Mary of Burgundy, by Anonymous (1483, c.)

death of mary.png

The image shows death portrayed as a royal skeleton with a crown and on a golden throne with a retinue approaching. The image is probably a commentry…