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The Dance of Death (Penguin Classics)

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9780141396828: The Dance of Death (Penguin Classics)
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An invaluable new reproduction of Holbein’s woodcuts of The Dance of Death
 
One of Hans Holbein’s first great triumphs, The Dance of Death is an incomparable sequence of tiny woodcuts showing the folly of human greed and pride. Each image is packed with drama, wit, and horror, as a skeleton mocks and terrifies everyone from the emperor to a ploughman. Taking full advantage of the new literary culture of the early sixteenth century, The Dance of Death took an old medieval theme and made it new.
 
This edition reproduces a complete set from the British Museum, with many details highlighted and examples of other works in this grisly field included. Ulinka Rublack introduces the woodcuts with a remarkable essay on the late medieval Danse Macabre (the Dance of Death) and the world Holbein lived in.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543) was one of the greatest portraitists of the sixteenth century. His paintings of monarchs, noblemen, and merchants have left an incomparably vivid picture of an era.
 
Ulinka Rublack (introducer) is a 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: Renaissance Cultural Identity in Europe, and The Astronomer and the Witch. She is the editor, with Maria Hayward, of The First Book of Fashion.

Review:

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 *

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