The child
Holbein Proofs, Child

The child

Leviticus 1: God teaches Moses how to present burnt sacrifices.
Holbein: God teaches Moses about burnt sacrifices.
Leviticus 10: The sons of Aaron offer strange fire before the LORD.
Holbein: The sons of Aaron offer strange fire before the LORD

M other and sister looks in desperation, while Death carries the youngest sibling away. The rundown shack shows their extreme poverty, and yet the thought of having one mouth less to feed does not seem to offer consolation.

Death leaves the hourglass behind - maybe because the child is the last in the dance.

The way of showing fire and smoke, with the smoke twisting like a cobra is typical of Holbein. We see the same in his illustration of Leviticus chapter 1 (to the left) and chapter 10 (to the right). Holbein does the same thing with waves.

Variations: Birckmann lets Death take the hourglass along and proudly raise it as a trophy. The same is done by Valvasor, Hollar and Deuchar.

Various Artists

Holbein Proofs (1526)
Holbein Proofs 1526: Child
Holbein (1538)
Holbein 1538: Child
Vogtherr (1544)
Vogtherr 1544: Child
Birckmann (1555)
Birckmann 1555: Child
Wagner (1557)
Wagner 1557: Child
Scharffenberg (1576)
Scharffenberg 1576: Child
Straub (1581)
Straub 1581: Child
Chytraeus (1590)
Chytraeus 1590: Child
Rubens (1590)
Rubens 1590: Child
Glissenti (1596)
Glissenti 1596: Child
Meyer (1605)
Meyer 1605: Child
Kieser (1617)
Kieser 1617: Child
Hollar (1651)
Hollar 1651: Child
Doodt Vermaskert (1654)
Doodt Vermaskert 1654: Child
Valvasor (1682)
Valvasor 1682: Child
Erbaulicher Sterb-Spiegel (1704)
Erbaulicher Sterb-Spiegel 1704: Child
Rusting (1707)
Rusting 1707: Child
Mechel (1780)
Mechel 1780: Child
Deuchar (1788)
Deuchar 1788: Child
Bewick (1789)
Bewick 1789: Child
Anderson (1810)
Anderson 1810: Child
Hollar (colour) (1816)
Hollar (colour) 1816: Child
Pseudo-Bewick (1825)
Pseudo-Bewick 1825: Child
Bechstein (1831)
Bechstein 1831: Child
Schlotthauer (1832)
Schlotthauer 1832: Child
Douce (1833)
Douce 1833: Child
Curmer (1858)
Curmer 1858: Child

Up to Holbein's great dance of death