Lübeck: The Bishop, abbot and knight

Bishop, abbot and knight
The bishop
The red area shows the location in the chapel in Lübeck
Suhl: The duke and Death do not hold hands.
The duke

We have come to end of the fragment in Tallinn, so this page and the following are illustrated with photos of the dance of death in the Marienkirche in Lübeck taken by Wilhelm Castelli between the two world wars. They appear in several books — including Bernt Notke und sein Kreis by Walter Paatz, Berlin 1939.

Below the painting was a High German text written by Nathanael Schlott, but for some reason Paatz has removed this text from his reproduction.

The original Low German text is lost here.

The door to Alfstrasse.
The door to Alfstrasse

Between the bishop and the abbot there used to be a duke, but he (and a Death) was cut out and disappeared when a door was expanded in the church wall in 1799.

The count from Der Doten Dantz
Figuren, Figuren: Count

The picture to the left shows the door as it looked December 2001. Above the door one can see the new stained glass windows from 1952-56.

The picture to the right is Suhl's engraving from 1783. I don't know whether the colouring happened before 1799.

Notice that the duke and Death (to the extreme right of the picture) are not holding hands. The duke holds a flag and Death uses both hands to catch the abbot (not in the picture). This is because there's always been a (smaller) door between the duke and Death and they have always been on two separate canvasses. When the door was enlarged, it was necessary to remove them both.

Baethcke points out that the duke is very similar to count from Der Doten Dantz mit figuren (picture to the right). All the way from the flag and feathers to the long stockings.

It is unclear on which side of the gateway the abbot was located after the duke was cut out. The photo on the left was taken across the railing into the dance of death chapel, and you can glimpse a tower and Death with a white shroud on his head.

The chapel Abbot

As you can see, there was not enough room for the whole abbot and his shepherd's crook to the right of the door.