THE DANCE OF DEATH. 23 opinion, that Holbein invented the Dance of Death. But it has not only been asserted that Holbein designed, but that he engraved, or rather cut this Dance of Death on wood. That he practised this art, nay, that he excelled in it, there is reason to believe, from some specimens that have been preserved, and which bear on them the unequivocal marks of H. H. & HANS. HOLBEN*. A set of cuts with the latter mark occurs in Archbishop Cranmer's Catechism, printed by Walter Lyneinl548; and although the composition of these is extremely good, their execution is not only inferior to the Dance of Death, but entirely different in its manner: and the mark of IB which is to be seen upon one of the cuts in this latter work, has been ascribed without any authority to Holbein, upon the strength of the vague opinions concerning his interference with the Dance of Death f. The great popularity and success of these cuts very soon excited many imitations of them both in copper and on blocks. In 1541, Aldegrever engraved eight of them, but with very material alterations. Other editions of the Imagines Mor> * It is not however impossible that Holbein, in putting his mark upon these cuts, might only intend to shew that he designed them, or drew the subject upon the blocks. + This mark is also given by Professor Christ, in his Diction-Baire des Monogrammes, to Hans Lautensack, and Hans Le-derer, persons of whom absolutely nothing is known.