The first humans are expelled from Paradise, with Death breathing down their necks. Götz' watercolour (above) show one those cherubims, who are tasked with guarding the Tree of life from now on.
Normally this scene is placed at the start of the dance, which is far more logical, because the Original Sin is the cause of all ensuing death. This is where we find Adam and Eve in La Chaise-Dieu, Bern, Mors de la Pomme, Les loups ravissans, La vie de l'Homme, Markus Reinhart's book of hours and, of course, in Holbein's dance of death. It did come at the very end in Basel, but in this dance the Paradise-scene was a much later addition, maybe as late as 1616.
According to our oldest source, Arnold from 1802,(1) the same was true in Erfurt. Arnold placed the Expulsion on his list as No. 2, and so did Götz and Pohle later. When Kruspe published his drawings in 1872 (picture to the right), he used a totally different sequence, but he still had the Expulsion placed as No. 2.
On the present site, however, we follow the order used by Schröer, who probably used a booklet by Schellenberg, and they place the Expulsion very late in the dance.
Der Tod kein Tanz!
The headline »Der Tod kein Tanz« once again points to Lübeck's "new" text. However, this time it's not a quote from the painting, but from those books that Nathanael Schlott published himself shortly after. In these books Schlott added a conclusion to the dance of death: thesis "Der Tod ist kein Tantz" and antithesis "Der Tod ist ein Tantz".
Here in Erfurt the antithesis is Christ victorious.
Footnotes: (1) (2)
Ignaz Ferdinand Arnold: "Erfurt mit seinen Merkwürdigkeiten und Alterthümern in historischer, statistischer, merkantilischer […]", Gotha, 1802, pp. 164-167.
Syrach / Ecclesiasticus 14:17, All flesh waxeth old as a garment: for the covenant from the beginning is, Thou shalt die the death.