he serpent has a woman's head according to contemporary taste.
The scenes from The Old Testament are not included in the Holbein's dance of death alphabet,
but back in 1524 Holbein had designed an alphabet with themes from The Old Testament cut in metal (picture to the right).
Holbein: Serpent or carrot?
Holbein: Genesis chap. 2 & 3
Holbein had also produced a series of illustrations from The Old Testament.
To the left is the picture of Temptation and Fall,
and quite frankly, it's not very good — the serpent looks like an overgrown carrot!
Publishers of Bibles and Bible picture books often found it expedient to skip the carrot-picture
and instead complement the series with the first four pictures from the dance of death:
Creation, Temptation and Fall,
The Expulsion from Paradise and Life After the Fall.
The picture to the right is from a picture book from 1547 with Holbein's illustrations from The Old Testament — spiffed up with
sundry Bible quotes and didactic poems.
Variations: Aldegrever as usual makes a free interpretation,
and Eberhard Kieser copies Aldegrever.
Birckmann's picture is very different, and he's copied by Valvasor.
Bewick reduces the number of animals — including the monkey that sets Eve's hair. Anderson deliberately skips the picture of Adam and Eva.