The painter

Götz: Painter
Götz, Painter
Kruspe: Painter
Kruspe, Painter

The painter, Jakob Samuel Beck, is interrupted by Death - presumably while painting the dance of death, just like it happens in Basel, Bern and Füssing, for the printers in Lyon 1499 and Lyon 1501 and for the Brothers Meyer.

In the background is another death scene. In Kruspe's drawing (right) it appears to be the painter's assistant, who is busy braying/crushing the paint. Like in Basel, where a small Death is in the process of grinding / crushing the paint.

On the other hand, in Götz's watercolour (above) it is clearly a woman — presumably the painter's wife. On the table are a number of brushes and a sheet of paper or fabric. There are only some curlicues on the paper, so maybe she has used it for cleaning her husband's brushes?

The painting is one of the oldest, from 1737, and Beck lived on for many years. In 1776, two years before he died, he painted the astronomer.

    Der Tod zum Maler:
Ich habe dich noch nie, mein lieber Mann, bezahlet,
Dass du mich allzuschön und künstlich hast gemalet,
Jetzt halt ich einen Tanz, den musst du helfen zieren,
Das sind für deine Müh die Zahlung und Gebühren.

    Der Maler:
Sein eigen Conterfait trifft selten einer recht,
Ich malte auch daher den Tod verdorrt und schlecht,
Und habe nie bedacht, dass dies mein Bildniss wäre,
Als da ich dieser Welt den Rücken nun zukehre.

In Götz' text, Death says: »mein lieber Freund« instead of »mein lieber Mann«.

Götz and Pohle both agree that Beck says: »Ich machte auch daher den Todt« instead of: »Ich malte auch daher den Tod«.