"Dispone Domui Tuae Morieris Enim Tu, & Non Vives...", Hollar, Wenceslaus
Subject: Prints Miscellaneous
Period: 1794 (published)
Publication: The Dance of Death
Color: Black & White
2.1 x 2.7 inches
5.3 x 6.9 cm
This copperplate engraving comes from the fascinating work based upon Holbein's original 15th century designs. Wenceslaus Hollar, a Bohemian etcher, created the copper plates for the original publication in 1647. The plates then disappeared until the late 18th century, when several editions from the "newly discovered" plates began to appear. Although the traditional Dance of Death goes back to the Middle Ages, Hans Holbein altered the medieval concept to show the omnipresence and universality of death. This plate shows Death confronting an Emperor. The text beneath the image comes from Isaiah 38:1, and translates to: "Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live."
This example is on sturdy paper with just a touch of foxing in the sizable margins.