Dance of Death: The Count

Dance of Death: The Count

c. 1526

Hans Holbein

(German, 1497/98-1543)

Woodcut

Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1929.164

Catalogue raisonné: Passavant vol.3.366.31

Location

Description

Dance of Death is the most celebrated series of woodcuts designed by Holbein. The 41 blocks were cut by Hans Lützelburger in the years immediately before his death in 1526, though the set was not published until 1538. Dance of Death originated as a drama in the middle of the 1300s. Following widespread epidemics such as the black plague, these plays took place in a cemetery or churchyard. Dressed in pale costumes painted to resemble skeletons, actors personified Death and summoned a group of people from all social classes in a dancelike procession. In a period when the life span was short, the purpose of the Dance of Death was to remind the people to prepare for the Last Judgement.

See also
Collection: 
PR - Woodcut
Department: 
Prints
Type of artwork: 
Print
Medium: 
Woodcut

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.