Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Shall We Dance?

Woodcut image of a nobleman fighting with death. Death is a skeleton and is tugging on the nobleman's robes. The nobleman has a sword drawn and is trying to pull away from death. He has an anquished look on his face.It is the Day of the Dead, perfect for highlighting the recent acquisition of Imagines mortis (Cologne: Apud haeredes Arnoldi Birckmanni, 1557). It will warm your heart on a gray November day. The fifty-three woodcuts are based on Hans Holbein's famous Dance of Death series, but here are presented more in the form of an emblem book with each image captioned with a verse. Death shows no favorites, and comes for all: some seem quite willing to go, while others fight.

Woodcut image of an elderly man being lead off by a skeletal image of Death. The man is not putting up any fight but appears resigned to his fate.Image of Death (as a skeleton) attacking a figure that appears to be a king or the Pope. Other figures in the room look on aghast at what they see.
This is also a good opportunity to let you know about an upcoming conference that the Library is co-sponsoring: Lives and Afterlives in the Middle Ages: The 43rd Annual New England Medieval Conference on November 19th,. We will have an exhibit with more medieval and early modern death later this month.

To see Imagines mortis, ask for Rare N7720.H6 I434 1557.

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