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Penitents, Eremites and Saints with Skulls


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Images of penitents, eremites, saints and other human figures in meditative situations in which a skull or other human remains are used as props for their meditation.

The male and female penintets and saints are accompanied by human bones whose gender is unidentifiable. Since the function of these bones is to remind them of their mortality and their imminent future, the remains are supposed to be as similar to themselves as possible, which would include being equally male or female. Although indeterminacy regarding the sex of the remains before death seems to be the norm in the paintings, the way the penitants and saints relate to the remains, how they handle them or next to what they place them may imply that they conceive them as male, female or neutral.