Sex and skeletons? These vintage samples of weird erotica are proof that the two go hand in hand. Or at least, someone thought they did, back in the Victorian age.
Franz Fiedler (17 February 1885 in Prostějov, Austria-Hungary – 5 February 1956 in Dresden, GDR) was a photographer. A series of erotic photos with a skeleton seem to mock the medieval classic motif of Death and the maiden.
Memento mori (Latin: "remember that you have to die") is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. When it comes to art, memento mori are artistic or symbolic reminders of mortality.
Most of these momento mori scenes were shot at the beginning of the 1900s. Most are simple posed scenes of a nude or nearly-nude girl cavorting with a skeleton. They seem to dance in an almost comical (and slightly unnerving) manner at times.
The final photos in this bizarre collection were taken for a production called Death and the Lady from 1906. Though the scenes contain the same ingredients as the erotica shots, these photos taken for quite opposite reasons. Death and the Lady was a strict Victorian reminder to all good people that card playing and alcohol are evil.