HOLBEIN, Hans the Younger
(b. 1497, Augsburg, d. 1543, London)

The Plowman from Dance of Death

Woodcut, 65 x 48 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

The Dance of Death was first published as a book in 1538 by the brothers Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel in Lyons. The book contains 41 woodcuts carved by Hans Lützelburger from drawings by Holbein. The Plowman is one of these masterpieces. The book quickly became very popular and further editions followed, with a further ten woodcuts being added, likeswise based on Holbein's drawings. As Lützelburger died in 1526, a less skillful hand cut the remaining plates.