In the late 1340’s the most horrific thing came into Italy know as the Black Death. The death toll climbed to as high as 50 or 60 percent in population. Yes of course with the plague upon Italy the production of art turned dark with all the deaths happening. The Black Death powerfully reinforced realism in art. The fear of hell became horribly real and the promise of heaven seemed remote. The way art changed was extreme taking the happness out of them and making them look so dead and sickly. Artists came up with a theme called danse macabre meaning the Dance of Death. When using this theme artists with put skeltons in with the living man. They would have a normal scenes of a workmen at a constuction site, hunters in a forests, and even peasents at a festival harvest and then they would add skeltons around them in the paintings. Even making some animals skeltons.
Not all the paintings had skeltons, some were just of part of a town with dead bodies laying all ove. Others were of a man with the face of a crow showing death and some were even of people in coffens. You could say the the artwork that was being done was cruel. They were showing the people what they looked like at their merriest moments and then remind them of the horror and loss. Strangley enough more people were buying the gothic art. They were posting them all over town, the church was even wanting the artists to paint this kind of art work for them.