This section is about two series of images, adorning the margins of medieval books of hours. The one is Simon Vostre's dance of death, the other is Accidens de l'Homme.
In 1856 a book was published with Heinrich Lödel's copies of Hans Holbein's dance of death alphabet in France, Italy and England. I quote from the English preface, which explains how these initials are accompanied by reproductions of those two dances of death:
Our new edition gives the same letters, real gems of engraving on wood, but, as a worthy illustration,
accompanies them with the two Dances of Death, the one more Gothic in form,
the other more coarsely engraved, but yet perhaps more
artistical, which are found in the well known Simon Vostre's Horæ.
These two Dances, as well as the ornamental borders,
all taken from different books, are engraved with a
fidelity and elegance on which our readers may pronounce,
by Mr Leon Le Maire, of Paris, who has also
copied on the title Holbein's Escutcheon of Death
from the Imagines Mortis.
The celebrated Hans Holbein's alphabet of death, illustr. with old borders engraved on wood, by A. de Montaiglon, 1856
So the person who reproduced these two dances of death (but not Holbein's initials) was named Léon Le Maire, and he has also made a copy of Holbein's Escutcheon of Death.(1) This is presumably Louis-Alphonse-Léon Lemaire (1827-1890).
Nothing can be said against the craftsmanship, which is impeccable, but Mr le Maire won't get many accolades for the historic quality. The pictures are brought out of context, without dialogue and subtitles, and can only be described as ornamental.
Out of Simon Vostre's 66 dancers, le Maire has copied 24. He has presumably chosen the 24 that he considered most interesting, but this means that when you see them three by three (see the two examples to the left), what you see is a modern pastiche. It is le Maire (or rather: his publisher), who has chosen to combine them in this manner. Each scene is on a separate block, and the combination of persons and dividing lines (if any) varies from page to page and between the various editions.
Take the example to the top left: The pope is followed by the young girl and the physician. First of all, Simon Vostre (and the Danse Macabre he copied) separated the 30 men (from the original mural) from the 36 women (who were invented later). Secondly, the participants appeared in order of rank, which means that there was a great gulf between the world's mightiest mortal, the pope, and the young girl and the physician. Thirdly, the participants alternated (especially in the start of the dance) between ecclesiastical and lay persons, and it's hard to see what the young girl is doing here.
With respect to Accidens de l'Homme (or maybe it's Las Horas — it's impossible to tell without dialogue) there are also 24. This means that le Maire has copied the entire series (except for the final Judgment Day and author). The English version includes the king twice but is lacking no. 20.
Leon le Maire has also chosen to bring these images three by three, even though they were originally published with only two per column. This is probably because the images don't take up so much space without the texts.
Finally, we'll take a look at another copy from the 19th century, drawn by Mlle d'Aligny and published by Henri Léon Curmer.
The next and final chapter is about another copy from the 19th century by Curmer and Mlle d'Aligny.
The previous subject was The 23 verses.
This copy of the Escutcheon of Death is rather perplexing, because among the copies of Holbein's dance of death published by Léon Curmer, there is an image, which is completely identical until the smallest detail.
But Léon le Maire is not on the list of artists, who have contributed to Curmer's books, and these books about dance of death alphabets were published by Edwin Tross, not Curmer.