- Museum number
Dance of death; skeletons dancing with various figures, including clergy, royalty, gentlemen and women, in a procession winding through a courtyard with architectural arcade in background, and group of skeletons playing instruments on raised platform to left
Pen and ink, with grey wash, red chalk and heightened with white, incised and verso washed with red chalk for transfer
- Production date
- 1700-1750 (circa)
Height: 343 millimetres
Width: 550 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This drawing is a study in reverse that was used for a print entitled: 'Der Todten Tantz - Chorea Mortualis'. An impression of the print in the possession of Guglielmo Invernizzi was reproduced online by Wunderlich (without reference to the production details on the print). The drawing was made in Augsburg during the early to mid eighteenth century and belongs to a long tradition of Dance of Death series, with figures that recall the earlier cycles made in Basel, Bern and Zurich (by the Meyer brothers; see volume 132 of 'Totentanz Aktuel'; and 'Immagini della Danza Macabra nella cultura occidentale deal medioevo al novecento', exhibition catalogue edited by G. Invernizzi and N. Della Casa, Pinzolo, Cusiano and Caldes, 26 June - 13 September, 1998). See also three drawings for a Dance of Death in Berlin by Johann König, probably from the 1630s (see 'Deutsche Maler und Zeichner des 17. Jahrhunderts', exh.cat. Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, 1966, nos. 153-154.) The drawing may not be by Haid; Hinrich Sieveking attributes it to J.E. Nilson (check Schuster's catalogue of prints after Nilson). The print might be by Johann Daniel Hertz the Elder (1693-1754).
For a particularly impressive 'memento mori' mezzotint by the Augburg artist, Johann Elias Ridinger, with a central scene with women and skeletons dancing in a circle, surrounded by circular vignettes, each showing death with a figure from various walks of life (c. 1750-60, unknown to Thienemann, first listed in the third edition of his catalogue, amended by Heinrich Stillfried, 1876, no. 1428), see Bassenge, 25th May, 2017, lot no. 5638.
Lit: Galerie Sabrina Förster catalogue, (Düsseldorf) spring, 1998, no. 32; . 'Totentanz Aktuell' Mitteilungsblatt der europäischen Totentanz-Vereinigung / Association Danses Macabres d'Europe E.V. Neue Folge 12. Jahrgang, Juli 2010, Heft 135, pp10-11, edited by Uli Wunderlich (see www.totentanz-online.de).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001 May-Sep BM, P&D, 'Paper Assets' (no cat.)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
Previously in a private collection in Nurnberg.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number