Basel: The Herald

The Herald
Basel's dance of death, The herald

Todt zum Herold:
HErold in deiner roten Kappen,
   Jetztmals muß ich dich auch erdappen:
Bey Fürsten warst du lieb vnd werth,
   Dein Stab wirff von dir auff die Erd.

Death to The Herald
Herald in your red hood
now I must grab you too.
Among princes you were dear and worthy.
Throw your staff to the ground.

Der Herold:
DEm Keyser war ich lieb vnd werth,
   Von jhm hat ich Geschenck vnd Pferd:
Mein Reden hat manchen erschreckt,
   Nun hat der Todt mein Schwätzen g'legt.

The Herald.
I was dear and worthy to the emperor,
from him I received gifts and horse.
My speeches have terrified many.
Now Death has stopped my chatter.

Emmanuel Büchel, Herald
Büchel, Herald
Fragment of original, uncovered Herald
Fragment, Herald

To the left is Emanuel Büchel's watercolour of the herald. The watercolour was painted in the year 1773, i.e. at a time when the mural had been re-painted several times and was in a bad condition.

At the museum in Basel there's still a fragment of the herald. The museum has removed the newest layers of paint to see what the herald originally looked like (picture to the right). Notice how Death's hand used to be placed much higher.

English translation from Beck, 1852
Death to the Herald.The Herald's reply.

Herald! in thy red cap so grand,
On thee I now must lay my hand;
To princes you were ever dear,
Now cast your gilded staff down here.

The Emperor's favourite was I,
My horse and purse he did supply:
My voice has oft made many quiver,
Now death has stopped my mouth for ever.

Translation from Hess, 1841
Death to the Herald.Answer of the Herald.

Herald in thy fine red cap,
Thou are catch'd in my trap,
By princes thou wast dear and worth,
Thy staff throw from thee, on the earth.

To the emperor I was dear and worth,
Of him I had presant and horse,
Many were frightnet ad my speaking,
Now death has findy stope'd my talking.


Various Artists

Merian (1621)
Merian 1621: Herald
Chovin (1744)
Chovin 1744: Herald
Büchel (1768)
Büchel 1768: Herald
Büchel (1773)
Büchel 1773: Herald
Büchel (1773)
Büchel 1773: Herald
Fragment (1805)
Fragment 1805: Herald
Feyerabend (1806)
Feyerabend 1806: Herald
Hess (1841)
Hess 1841: Herald
Beck (1852)
Beck 1852: Herald
Beck (1852)
Beck 1852: Herald
Stuckert (1858)
Stuckert 1858: Herald