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Daniel Good Rare Books and Engravings

1650 Conrad Meyer (1618-1689) Master Etching - Dance of Death - The Fool

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20.3 x 15.8 cm

From one of the scarce Dance of Death series produced in Switzerland in the 17th Century.

References: See Leemann-van Elck, Zürcher. Buchill. 110ff. - Faber du Faur 453 - Massmann S. 50, Nr.1 - Lonchamp 2073.

The engravings in this suite are rightly described as the "Gipfelpunkt zürcherischer Illustrationskunst" [The high point of Zurich’s book illustration.] (Leemann-v. E.).

Rudolf and Conrad Meyer's Dance of Death was published in Zurich in 1650 under the title Sterbenspiegel. It was begun by Rudolf Meyer, but he died before its completion. As the plates show, the style and presentation of the Meyers' Dance of Death constitutes a complete departure from Holbein's designs. A point to note is the remarkable characterisation of Death himself. He now appears as a winged figure, bearing a spear. He also seems less skeletal, with flesh and muscle instead of bare bones. The Meyers' use of metal engravings result in illustrations that are far more elaborate: even the background architecture shows a wealth of detail.

Some light marginal staining.