Dance of death prints at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek - Im.mort.

The so-called dance of death prints are kept together in the Imagines mortis (Im.mort) subject.

The first representations of dances of death can be found in the 14th century in the form of murals and monumental works on cemetery and cloister walls, but also in handwritten books. These representations supplemented by verses became widely distributed with the invention of the printing press. The typical motif of the forced ritual of skeletons dancing with living people from all social classes varies. The "Imagines mortis" by Hans Holbein the Younger (died 1543) finally gave the dance a new and artistic form.

Im.mort. 90 shows the dance with death on 53 woodcuts, based on drawings by Hans Holbein the Younger, described with epigrams by Gilles Corrozet (1510-1568). The collection manuscript belonging to the Augsburg humanist Sigismund Gossembrot (1417-1493) contains probably the first example of the dance of the dead genre being dealt with by a meistersinger on sheet 14-20 (Clm 3941).

>> This collection is part of the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).

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