Füssen, The peasant

The peasant
Hiebeler, Peasant

Death to the peasant

    [der todt.]
Hui auff o baur mit deinem knecht
Du muest mir halten auch ein gfecht.
Dein pflegel magst wol fallen lohn,
Zu vnserm tantz richt dich gar schon.

    [Death.]
Up up, oh peasant, with your servant
You too must fight with me.
You may as well drop your flail,
Get ready soon for our dance.

The peasant

    der baur.
Mein leben ward der arbait vol,
An meinen henden sieht mans wol
Das feld wolt ich doch lieber bauen,
Dan disen thirling ietz anschauen.

    the Peasant.
My life was full of work.
You can clearly see it on my hands.
Yet I would rather till the field
than look at this dry man now.

Basel: Peasant with flail.
Merian, Peasant
Holbein: Peasant.
Holbein Proofs, Peasant

Image and text do not resemble the peasant in Basel, except that the farmer has a flail on his shoulder.

The dialogue is closest to the fool in Basel. Partly the rhyme "knecht" / "gefecht", and partly the long complaint about the hard work, that ends up with admitting that the work was still better than meeting this "thirling" — the dry man.

Even if the farmer complains about his hard work, he seems to be doing well. He is well dressed and he has a "knecht"/boy for the rough and dirty work in the field. This Catholic dance of death has come a long way compared to Holbein's Protestant dance 75 years earlier with the ragged serf (pictured right) and its allusions to the peasant uprising (Holbein's count and initial letter K).

On the right side of the painting you see a ploughman (perhaps the farmer's "servant"?). He is reminiscent of Holbein's peasant (pictured right).