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Daniel Good Rare Books and Engravings

1641 Salomon van Rusting (active 1693-1705) - Dance of Death - The Knight

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15.3 x 9.4 cm

Copper engraving

Not much is known about Salomon van Rusting, except that he had used to be an army surgeon. He published »Het schouw-toneel des doods« (Death's theater stage) in 1707 in Amsterdam. Rusting was evidently interested in religion and a great part of the book and the 30 copperplates deal with Death throughout the Bible: Cadavers with long hair resembling feathers are jumping around the Tree of Wisdom, accompanying Noah's Ark with trumpets, dancing around Lot's wife in front of Sodom and Gomorrah, attacking Pharaoh and his soldiers in the Red Sea and so on. By thus placing the dance of death in a Biblical context, Rusting has anticipated Tobias Weis' »Sceptra Mortis, ein Biblischer Todtentanz« by almost two centuries.