Lübeck's Dance of Death

The Brothers Borchers (1831)

Borchers correctly show two cadavers and a woman.
Lübeck, The brothers Borchers
The duke (with flag) is included, even though this character had been removed in 1799.
Lübeck, The Brothers Borchers

The unknown artist (and one is tempted to put "artist" in scare quotes) draws heavily on Hauttmann. For this reason his reproduction is fairly correct e.g. concerning the little group of three persons (picture to the left) that Ludewig Suhl had depicted erroneously.

This reproduction is extremely simple and all details in the background have been removed. The artist is anonymous, but in the bottom right corner it says, »Steindruck von Gebrüder Borchers«.

Lübeck, The Brothers Borchers Lübeck, The Brothers Borchers The whole dance is shown on one single page, The idea was evidently to enclose it in those brochures that the church sold to visitors.

The reproduction exists in a black and white version as well as a coloured version. The picture to the right is from WikiPedia, where they state this exemplar is from 1842.


The University of Düsseldorf has a copy of a book from around 1839 that includes this folded sheet in very high resolution: Ausführliche Beschreibung und Abbildung des Todtentanzes in der St. Marien-Kirche zu Lübeck.

The same book is also available from Google Books but without the image.