Potter Engelmann works diligently and peacefully with the turntable. Kruspe's drawing (right) shows how the cat sleeps safely next to its owner.
Death arrives unexpectedly, stops the turntable with his foot, and threatens to crush several of the finished earthenware. The potter's life is like his ware: easy to crush — while leaving only clay and earth.
This is one of the few pictures where Death acts brutally instead of just standing and watching.
Der Tod zum Töpfer:
Death's words are inspired by Lübecks "new" text, where Death tells the physician that his (the physician's) body is precisely like the glass that he's holding: »dein Krankenglas, Du bist den Cörper nach so dauerhaft als das«, and the physician agrees; there is no difference: »alsdenn gesteh ich frey, Daß zwischen Glas und Mensch kein Unterschied mehr sey«.
Götz and Pohle agree that Death doesn't say, »der ganze Mensch«, but »der arme Mensch«.