Todt zum Maler:
Death to the Painter|
Hans Hug Klauber, let the painting stand;
We will also away from here now.
Your art, trouble and work doesn't help you,
because it will happen to you like the others.
Even if you have portrayed me terribly,
you will soon have the same shape - with child and wife.
Always keep God in sight,
throw the brush away, and also the straight edge.
My God, would you please stand by me,
since I must also away from here now.
My soul I commend in your hands
when the hour comes for my end,
and Death drives out my soul.
Yet I hope the memory of me will stay,
as long as people are fond of this work.
God save you, I'm traveling away.
The painter Hans Kluber made an extensive renovation of the mural in 1568, and he made a large number of changes. One of these was that he added himself in a modern Spanish dress along with his wife and son.
The idea with the painter adding himself is probably one Hans Klauber took from Bern's dance of death (picture to the left). One might wonder how Kluber could shamelessly call himself the painter, since all he had done was to renovate the mural, which at this time was more than 100 years old. This is yet another indication of just how extensive the changes he made to the mural were.
Concerning the picture's position and the picture's longevity, see the pages about the painter's wife and son and Adam & Eve in Paradise.
In Frölichs book (picture to the right), the painter is reproduced along with his family. According to the plaque at the bottom, Klauber died in 1578, and Frölich puts two lines more into the painter's mouth, that Merian doesn't have:
Unnd ihr meine Gesellen nun
Wollen mir bald nachfolgen thun.
And you my journeymen, now|
shall soon follow after me.
|English translation from Beck, 1852|
|Death to the Painter.||The Painters reply.|
Now John Hugh Klauber, cease to paint,
O God, I pray thee stand by me,