he dance ends with The Last Judgment, where Jesus is going to separate the sheep from the goats.
And as we all know, this is going to happen very soon.
In the middle of the picture is the Universe surrounded by the Zodiac.
The drawing is reminiscent of the model hanging over the head of the astrologer.
Jesus is sitting on top of a rainbow,
displaying his holy wounds.
The humans are naked — all symbols of earthly authority are gone.
Holbein was the first to let the dance of death end with the Resurrection and the Last Judgment.
Paradoxically enough, he seems to have been inspired by the beginning of Basel's dance of death
— i.e. the same picture that inspired Holbein to the introduction
of his dance of death.
On the picture to the left - over the gate - is a painting of Jesus sitting on a rainbow as a judge
- with the saved to the left and the lost in Hell to the right.
One thing that distinguishes Holbein's picture from the one in Basel's dance of death is
that Holbein doesn't portray the lost souls in the Lake of Fire.
In Holbein's picture, Jesus is the happy end to the tragic dance of death,
that ended with Death leaving the hourglass at the child.
Another difference between Holbein's picture and many other contemporary
paintings of The Last Judgment
is the absence of Mary and John. As a good Protestant, Holbein
has no need for intercessors..
The picture of The Last Judgment looks much like the one that was used in
Holbein's dance of death alphabet (picture to the right),
and the same two Bible quotes are used.
Variations: Scharffenberg makes a very liberal interpretation, where he shows the damned being consumed by eternal flames.