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Triomphe
de la Mort

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Frontispiece

   
 
 


Design by Hans Holbein
Engraving by David Deuchar
From Le Triomphe de la Mort
Gravé l'apres les Dessins originaux de Jean Holbein

1786
3"w x 4 1/8"h

               
   
 

PLATE I — FRONTISPIECE

   
 

A

t the side of a stone table, placed vertically, Holbein appears behind a curtain, which Death opens to him, to place before his eyes the great Spectacle of the Scenes of human Life

that he is going to sketch. This is also expressed by an heap of the attributes of grandeur, dignities, riches, arts, and sciences, mixed with death-heads, which Death is trampling under his feet. Below is an epitaph from Lucan — Mors sceptra ligonibus æquat. Death confounds the sceptre with the spade. This table is topped with a medallion, with the portrait of Holbein. Two Genii support this medallion; the one surrounded with a garland of flowers, the other lets fly a butterfly, whilst a third is amusing himself with making soap bubbles. What these allegories mean is easily understood.

 

From EXPLANATION of the Subjects of THE TRIUMPH OF DEATH Published in "The DANCES OF DEATH through The Various Stages of Human Life Wherein the Capriciousness of That Tyrant is Exhibited in Forty-Six Copper Plates done from the Original Designs which were Cut in Wood and Afterwards Painted by John Holbein in the Town of Basil." Published in London, 1803.

               
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