he count prays for his life to be spared, while Death is about to crush him with his own shield. Death is dressed as a peasant and steps on a flail. All this are allusions to the peasants' rebellion in Germany, Austria and Switzerland 1524-1526 (the very years when Holbein and Lützelburger designed the woodcuts).
The flail also appears in the Dance of Death Alphabet (picture to the right), where Death uses the flail to trip the Nobleman.
Variations: Birckmann replaces the sprouting stalks with a tree. The count's helmet (lying on the ground) is turned over. Valvasor, Hollar and Deuchar copy Birckmann.