A sickly young woman sits covered up on a balcony; death (a ghostly skeleton clutching a scythe and an hourglass) is standing next to her; representing tuberculosis. Watercolour by R. Cooper, ca. 1912.
- Cooper, Richard Tennant, 1885-1957.
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About this work
Tuberculosis (TB) of bones or lungs is a disease affecting young as well as old, causing exhaustion, fever, wasting and early death. The disease was very common in England around 1912 when Henry S. Wellcome commissioned this allegory of tuberculosis. It shows an emaciated young woman sitting on a balcony overlooking a Swiss or Italian valley. She does not have much more time in which to enjoy the beauty of this world, as Death grips her hand and tells her that it is time for her to depart.