- The Dance of Death

The Wagon Driver

Death Comes for the Wagon Driver

Wagonner, from the Dance of Death

Dance of Death: The Wagonner

In this illustration from the Dance of Death, a wagon driver cries in despair amid his ruined cart and cargo, while death frolics about him, destroying his goods. Perhaps the wagon driver is going to die as a result of the accident which has overturned his cart and spilled his load, but he seems more concerned about the loss of his worldly goods than his coming death. As with many of the other drawings, this illustration tells us that material wealth is of no importance and has no lasting value.

The detailed drawing of the cargo including the large kegs is of great historical interest in itself, giving a glimpse of what the medieval supply chain was like.

It is noteworthy that Holbein's Dance of Death follows a slope from high to low, describing the high born first and then moving towards the lower classes of medieval society. This organization reflects the medieval world view which regarded society and even nature as consisting of a chain of being running from lowest to highest.

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Holbein - the Dance of Death.

Hans Holbein

Hans Holbein

The Dance of Death

Meaning of the Dance of Death

The Dancing Mania

The Dancing Mania

Scene from the Dance of Death

Scene from the Danc of Death