Füssen, The bishop

The bishop
Hiebeler, Bishop

Death to the bishop

    Der todt.
Herr Bischoff weis vnd wolgelert
Euer würde hat sich auch verkert.
Gebt auff, ist Zeit das Regiment,
Euer leben eilt ietz auch zum endt.

Mr. Bishop, wise and well learned;
Your worthiness has also been distorted,
Give up, your regiment is over,
Your life is now also rushing towards the end.

The bishop

    der Bischoff.
Ich bin gar hoch geachttet worden,
dieweil Ich lebt in Bischoffs orden.
Nun kom ich auch ins todten band,
Secht zu, er fiert mich bei der hand.

    the Bishop.
I have been very highly esteemed
while I lived, in my bishop's office.
Now I too come into Death's bond.
Look, he leads me by the hand.

Basel: Bishop.
Merian, Bishop

The bishop carries a shepherd's crook as a symbol of his office, while Death carries a shovel.

The first two lines of Death's speech are the same as for the bishop in Basel, but in reverse order:

Basel: The Bishop

EVwer Würde hat sich verkehrt,
Herr Bischoff weiß vnd wolgelehrt:

The first two lines of the bishop are also the same as in Basel, but in Basel the bishop ends with being dragged away by deformed creatures as if he were an ape, and this was obviously too wild for this Catholic dance in Füssen.

Instead, the bishop's third line is taken from the king in Basel: »Nun bin ich in deß Todtes Banden«. The bishop ends up being led away: "Look, he leads me by the hand", but not by deformed creatures and not like an ape. The words are a paraphrase of Death's word to the King: »Ich führ euch hie bey meiner Hend«.

In the background is a view of Augsburg. In the middle is the cathedral with two towers, and to the left is the tower of the Catholic St. Ulrich. This 93 meter tall tower with an onion dome was built in 1594 — eight years before the Dance of Death was painted. We can therefore assume that the bishop is Heinrich V. von Knöringen, who was installed in his office in 1599. and who died in 1646 — 44 years after Death had announced: "Your life is now also rushing towards the end".