The Monk
Holbein Proofs, Monk

The Monk

The Holbein-dagger: the protesting Monk with his charity box.
Holbein dagger

Holbein, Initial O, The Monk W e have seen the protesting monk before — both on the Holbein dagger (picture to the left) and in the dance of death alphabet. In these, earlier, versions Holbein has been spatially constrained: On the dagger sheath, the monk is all huddled-up — and in the alphabet, he and Death shares only a square inch.

In the great dance of death, Holbein has a chance to show at last, why the monk is protesting so vehemently: The monk protects his charity box and his full bag by holding them away from Death. He has sworn to renounce this world and its temptations, but still the monk values his charity box higher than life itself.

Anderson: The writing on the stone
Anderson: Detail
Variations: Birckmann replaces the dramatic clouds with a village in the background; the pillar is removed from the ruin.
Deuchar also draws a village instead of clouds.
Mechel draws the entire dog and not just the hindmost part; the hourglass has disappeared.
Bewick places the hourglass on the brick wall and adds a block of stone in front of the gate.
Anderson gives Death devil's wings and writes an almost legible text on Bewick's stone block.

Various Artists

Holbein Proofs (1526)
Holbein Proofs 1526: Monk
Holbein (1538)
Holbein 1538: Monk
Vogtherr (1544)
Vogtherr 1544: Monk
Birckmann (1555)
Birckmann 1555: Monk
Juan de Icíar (1555)
Juan de Icíar 1555: Monk
Scharffenberg (1576)
Scharffenberg 1576: Monk
Straub (1581)
Straub 1581: Monk
Chytraeus (1590)
Chytraeus 1590: Monk
Glissenti (1596)
Glissenti 1596: Monk
Hollar (1651)
Hollar 1651: Monk
Doodt Vermaskert (1654)
Doodt Vermaskert 1654: Monk
Valvasor (1682)
Valvasor 1682: Monk
Mechel (1780)
Mechel 1780: Monk
Deuchar (1788)
Deuchar 1788: Monk
Bewick (1789)
Bewick 1789: Monk
Anderson (1810)
Anderson 1810: Monk
Bechstein (1831)
Bechstein 1831: Monk
Schlotthauer (1832)
Schlotthauer 1832: Monk
Douce (1833)
Douce 1833: Monk
Helmuth (1836)
Helmuth 1836: Monk
Curmer (1858)
Curmer 1858: Monk

Up to Holbein's great dance of death