This edition of The Dance of Death reproduces a complete set from the British Museum, with many details highlighted and examples of other works in this grisly field.
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) was one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century, whose paintings of monarchs, noblemen and merchants have left an incomparably vivid picture of an era. Ulinka Rublack is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. Her books include Reformation Europe, Dressing Up- Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe and The Astronomer and the Witch- Johannes Kepler's Fight for his Mother. She is the editor of The Concise Companion to History and (with Maria Hayward) of The First Book of Fashion.
The underlying message of the series is, of course, that Death comes for us all, and if it interrupts the recreations of the wealthy rather more insolently than those of the poor, then let that be a lesson to us... Rublack's commentary is useful and illuminating, pointing out details, providing information about the time Holbein lived in, and even making a plausible case for her own views on Holbein's position on the reformation. -- Nick Lezard * Guardian *