MECKENEM, Israhel van the Younger
(b. 1440/45, Meckenheim, d. 1503, Bocholt)

Morris Dance

c. 1475
Engraving, diameter 17,4 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Morris dances, performed at carnivals or as interludes in more formal dances in the fifteenth century, were acrobatic as the men would leap around in comical and often erotic fashion to the sound of drum and flute music. As observed in the engraving by Israhel van Meckenem, the men, including a fool, cavort as they try to impress the woman who will bestow a ring on the winner.