The Landlady

The landlady

Death to the landlady

Krugersche gy muthen (ok al mede)
valsch tapen affreken is yo juwe se(de)
legghet dy valsche math ut iuwer hant
juwe viene vhalscheyt ys jo bekant
jw leyt....wol dat blawe bereyt
volghet na gy synt wol thu dantze beryt

Landlady, you must also join.
Dishonest [beer]tapping [and] accounts are your tradition.
Lay that false measure out of your hand.
Your fraudulent falseness is known.
Lay you.......well the blue hat.
Follow after. I suppose you are prepared for the dance?

The landlady

Och gruwelike doet bystu rede hyr
nym den doren ick gha vnde tappe ber
jodoch doeth beyde thu kort werth my dy tyd
och were ik desser valschen mathe quyth
dar ik jo muth vore lyden grote pyn
help my criste uth desser noth mach dat syn

Oh terrible Death - are you already here.
Take the fool - I'll go and tap beer.
Wait though, Death - the time was too short for me.
Oh, were I rid of this false measure -
since I must suffer great pain because of it.
Help me, Christ, out of this distress, if possible.

Rudolph Schick's lithograph of the end of the dance.
The landlady and the fool are rendered with dashed lines to indicate they were in bad condition.
Berlin's dance of death, by Lübke
Rudolph Schick's lithograph from 1861 shows the start of the dance before any restorations.
The mural was damaged around the curate showing the bricks through the plaster. In contrast, the curate and the Deaths at both sides have been fully restored in Prüfer's lithographs.
The start of the dance of death in Berlin

The lithograph at the top of the page looks quite odd. Two of the figures have lost their heads, and three figures have lost their bodies. This is rather strange: one might think Prüfer did this in order to indicate that the area was in a bad condition, but this explanation doesn't hold water. According to Lübke and Schick's lithograph (picture to the left), the Death between the landlady and the fool/cook was in good condition in 1860/61, while the landlady was deteriorated from her knees up.

So why did Prüfer whiten out the Death, while retaining most of the landlady? And why did he whiten out the landlady's hand and half of her head?

Elsewhere Prüfer had no problem showing unoriginal parts. For instance, the curate was lost before the mural was discovered (picture to the right), and yet a newly invented curate is featured proudly in Prüfer's lithographs.