The Noblewoman
Holbein Proofs, Noblewoman

The Noblewoman / Newlywed Couple

Basel's dance of death: pope
Basel's dance of death. pope
Basel's dance of death: Holbein's depiction of the energetic Death has inspired a 1568-renovation of the painting.
Basel's dance of death: Hermit

H ere is another case, where a little dialogue wouldn't be amiss. It's not entirely clear what goes on in the picture. The Bible quote above the picture is Me & thee. Ought but death part thee and me (freely after the Book of Ruth 1:17). Maybe this is supposed to be a line spoken by the noblewoman? In that case, Death stands just in front of them, ready to take her up on her word. Maybe the couple are the same couple that later stands next to The escutcheon of Death and now have become separated by Death?

Holbein has presumably found some inspiration in his hometown, Basel. In Basel's dance of death, the Pope is dragged away while Death plays a drum that's been tightened around his waist (picture to the left, see also Heidelberg's dance of death).

In return, Holbein's image of an energetically drumming Death has inspired the Dance of Death in Basel. The picture of Death hammering on the hermit's lantern (picture to the right) was added during a later restauration.

Variations: Birckmann shortens the man's trousers, so it almost looks like a Scottish kilt; he gives both persons a feather in their hats and places the hourglass in the middle of the picture. All this is imitated by Hollar and Deuchar.
Scharffenberg has looked at Basel's dance of death (picture to the left) and has replaced the drum with a skull.

Various Artists

Holbein Proofs (1526)
Holbein Proofs 1526: Noblewoman
Holbein (1538)
Holbein 1538: Noblewoman
Vogtherr (1544)
Vogtherr 1544: Noblewoman
Birckmann (1555)
Birckmann 1555: Noblewoman
Wagner (1557)
Wagner 1557: Noblewoman
Scharffenberg (1576)
Scharffenberg 1576: Noblewoman
Straub (1581)
Straub 1581: Noblewoman
Chytraeus (1590)
Chytraeus 1590: Noblewoman
Glissenti (1596)
Glissenti 1596: Noblewoman
Kieser (1617)
Kieser 1617: Noblewoman
Hollar (1651)
Hollar 1651: Noblewoman
Doodt Vermaskert (1654)
Doodt Vermaskert 1654: Noblewoman
van Battem (1680?)
van Battem 1680?: Battem
Valvasor (1682)
Valvasor 1682: Noblewoman
Mechel (1780)
Mechel 1780: Noblewoman
Deuchar (1788)
Deuchar 1788: Noblewoman
Bewick (1789)
Bewick 1789: Noblewoman
Anderson (1810)
Anderson 1810: Noblewoman
Hollar (colour) (1816)
Hollar (colour) 1816: Noblewoman
Pseudo-Bewick (1825)
Pseudo-Bewick 1825: Noblewoman
Bechstein (1831)
Bechstein 1831: Noblewoman
Schlotthauer (1832)
Schlotthauer 1832: Noblewoman
Douce (1833)
Douce 1833: Noblewoman
Curmer (1858)
Curmer 1858: Noblewoman

Up to Holbein's great dance of death