Rich man / miser  

The Rich Man / The Miser

Gross-Basel, the Miser
Groß-Basel, the Miser on the field.
Haselbach, the Miser
Haselbach, the Miser

T he miser seems to be more agitated over losing his money, than over being visited by Death. The hourglass has been set in front of him, and his candle has burned down.

Here, Holbein distinctly breaks with the old tradition: In the dance of death in Basel, the miser also sits behind a table. However, the blades of grass and the clods of earth show clearly that the scene takes place outdoor - together with the other dancers. In Holbein's version, the miser has moved indoor, but thick walls and double bars cannot keep this thief out.

Holbein's woodcut has inspired the dance of death in the chapel in Haselbach (picture to the right).

Variations: Birckmann has placed the hourglass in the recess on the wall. The recess is made taller. Valvasor, Hollar and Deuchar copy Birckmann.
Birckmann also designs a hole in the floor (copied by Valvasor and Hollar) — maybe Death has dug his way up?

Various Artists

Holbein Proofs 1526: Usurer
Holbein Proofs (1526)
Holbein 1538: Rich man
Holbein (1538)
Vogtherr 1544: Rich man
Vogtherr (1544)
Birckmann 1555: Rich man
Birckmann (1555)
Juan de Icíar 1555: Rich man
Juan de Icíar (1555)
Wagner 1557: Rich man
Wagner (1557)
Scharffenberg 1576: Rich man
Scharffenberg (1576)
Straub 1581: Rich man
Straub (1581)
Chytraeus 1590: Rich man
Chytraeus (1590)
Glissenti 1596: Rich man
Glissenti (1596)
Kieser 1617: Rich man
Kieser (1617)
Hollar 1651: Rich man
Hollar (1651)
Thomas Neale 1657: Usurer
Thomas Neale (1657)
Manni 1675: Usurer
Manni (1675)
Valvasor 1682: Rich man
Valvasor (1682)
Mechel 1780: Rich man
Mechel (1780)
Deuchar 1788: Rich man
Deuchar (1788)
Bewick 1789: Rich man
Bewick (1789)
Anderson 1810: Rich man
Anderson (1810)
Hollar (colour) 1816: Rich man
Hollar (colour) (1816)
Bechstein 1831: Rich man
Bechstein (1831)
Schlotthauer 1832: Rich man
Schlotthauer (1832)
Douce 1833: Rich man
Douce (1833)
Mixtur 1843: Mixtur
Mixtur (1843)
Curmer 1858: Rich man
Curmer (1858)
Douce reprint 1858: Usurer
Douce reprint (1858)

Up to Holbein's great dance of death