The dance of death is expanded with an extra picture: The adulterer.
Death stands behind the bed, holding the woman by her hair and
placing his hand on the jealous husband's dagger.
Vogtherr adds a crucifixion scene,
copied after Albrecht Dürer.
s early as in 1544,
Heinrich Vogtherr the Elder (1490-1556) published his copy of Holbein's dance of death in Augsburg.
This makes his dance of death the first German Holbein-clone, (unless
you include Aldegrever's 8 pictures).
Vogtherr's dance of death is a rather close copy of Holbein's work, except that the images are laterally reversed and bigger.
Vogtherr follows the old printed sheets, which explains the German titles.
For the same reason he leaves out the astrologer
and (naturally) the pictures that were only added to the dance in the later editions from 1545-1562.
Jost de Negker (1485-1544, also called Jobst de Necker / Nekker / Dienecker) was a splendid artist in his own right,
who is credited with the invention of multi-colour prints and the
chiaroscuro-technique. In his older years he branched out as a publisher.
Many commentators want to affix de Negker's name to this book,
but it's hard to see what role he's supposed to have played:
The motifs were already designed by Holbein, and we know
that Vogtherr cut the blocks, because he added his mark:
Vogtherr removed Hans Lützelburger's woodcutter's mark:
a conjoined H and L in the lower, left corner
of the duchess' bed.
(see picture to the left). Instead Vogtherr replaced Lützelburger's mark with the year 1542 (picture to the right).
On the picture of the pope,
a devil comes flying with a letter of indulgence.
On the letter is a pseudo-inscription, which Vogtherr has replaced with a legible text (picture to the right):
"ve tibi corona Superbia mea". I'm not an expert on Latin, but
it sounds like a variation of Isaiah 28:1 "vae coronae superbiae".
Isaiah means "Woe to the crown of pride",
so the flying devil probably says
"Woe to you, my crown of pride".
Vogtherr added 2 more scenes: The crucifixion (top right corner) and
the adulterers (top left corner).
It's a rather unpleasant picture with Death holding the woman fast by her hair
so the husband can pierce the adulterous couple.
The picture caused outrage at the time
and only appeared in the 1544-edition. In some of the existing
copies it has been destroyed.(1)
In the later editions it was replaced by another:
The same bed and the same room, but the couple were sitting together in the bed when
Death arrives with mirror and
The book started with a discussion between Death and man, and each picture
had a dialogue (in German) between Death and the dying,
just as there is in all the "proper" dances of death.
This text was included by
Carl Helmuth in his copy of Vogtherr's woodcuts.
»Die Ehebruch-Szene in de Neckers Totentanz
empörte die Zeitgenossen. Das Bild ist in einigen
der erhaltenen Exemplare zerstört; es
kommt in den meisten späteren Ausgaben
nicht mehr vor«.
Uli Wunderlich, Der Tanz in den Tod, page 73.
The woodcut of the adulterer is not included on bildindex.de.
I have this description from Massmann in Kunst-Blatt no. 76, 22. September 1831, page 302.
Massmann also confirms that the scene wan't popular:
»Ein grässlich Bild, nicht Holbeinisch, und - von der Zeit wahrscheinlich getadelt«.