The Death of the Grave Digger - Carlos Schwabe
I am struck by the intense sense of drama, within this image. Schwabe has used the positions of the human body to tell the story. Each pose contains a great deal of information.The tension depicted in the hands of the grave digger reveal that he has been caught off guard by this angel of death. However his face expresses acceptance, rather than horror. The pose of the angel is statuesque and emotionless, creating a greater feeling of inevitability. Her delicate stance reveals movements that are not sudden, there is a calm, peaceful nature to her approach. She holds a green light within one hand, symbolizing power, yet her other hand is empty. His time has come. Her dark wings reveal her purpose, before an act takes place. He has reached the winter of his life, and is surrounded by the white snow.
The beautiful poses of the figures create such an interesting composition, which is then enhanced by her wings. The dark feathers create an oval structure around the two figures holding them together. Some of the tree branches follow the shape of the wings, whereas others are more vertical. Those branches subdue the scenery, making sure the tombstones are not too dominant within the composition. The focus is placed within the relationship, between the two figures. The story is within this connection. The contrast between black and white, creates a higher level of sharpness. The angel is bold and dominant, without the need for aggression. The symbolism within the image is a joy to explore, Schwabe has created a masterpiece.