Dødsens Billedes bescriffuelse

German edition from 1590. Start of the section "Imagines Mortis Illustratæ".
Chytraeus, Old man
The Danish edition from 1591
Title page

David Chytræus (1530-1600) was a German Lutheran theologian and professor in Rostock.

The family was originally named Kochhafe, and the German word Kochhafen means cauldron. The family then assumed the Greek word for cauldron, χυτρα, which in Latin became "Chytræus".

David Chytræus' book »De Morte et Vita Aeterna« was a collection of several small books. One of these booklets was "Imagines Mortis Illustratæ", which contained the text from Hans Holbein's great dance of death — i.e. a long sequence of Bible quotes together with Gilles Corrozet's four-lined poems.

Several editions of this book were text-only, but in the edition from 1590 the publisher didn't just copy the Bible quotes and poems from Holbein — he also added rough copies of Holbein's woodcuts (picture to the left).

In the Danish translation from 1591, "Imagines Mortis Illustratæ" has become »Dødsens Billedes bescriffuelse« (i.e.: The description of Death's image), and for inscrutable reasons Chytræus is spelled "Cythræus" in Danish.

The Danish book contained neither woodcuts nor poems — just the sequence of Bible quotes. I have typed out the text and identified the quotes, but only in the Danish version of this page.

Further information

External link


Up to Danish Dances of Death