30 THE DANCE OF DEATH. Coxe* thinks he followed the drawings engraved by De Mechel, which he imagines to have been in the Arundeljan collection. Both these opinions seem erroneous ; for many ... Show more
30 THE DANCE OF DEATH. Coxe* thinks he followed the drawings engraved by De Mechel, which he imagines to have been in the Arundeljan collection. Both these opinions seem erroneous ; for many of Hollar's prints are materially different, as well from the cuts as the drawings ; and are, with two or three exceptions, very close copies of the cuts already mentioned to have been first published in 1555, with the mark of J f. He must therefore have either had before him both the sets of wooden cuts, or have copied the paintings at Whitehall; for his acknowledged fidelity would have hardly suffered him to depart from his originals, whatever they were, and as they now remain, they are not correct copies of any single existing model. Hollar's prints were first published in 1651J, with borders designed by Abraham a Diepenbeke, and afterwards without the borders. In this latter impression the letters^, i. occur upon everyprint, and are intended for cc Holbein invenit," as ap- ? Travels in Swisserland. f It is not a little remarkable, that almost the same variations from the original cuts, are to be found in those of the edition of 1555, in De Mechel's prints, and in Hollar's etchings; a circumstance which renders it probable that these last were all copied from the same originals, which might have been the work of Holbein, to whom the variations may be likewise attributed. | In 1682 there appeared engraved copies of the Dance of Death, in a work entitled " Theatrum mortis humanze," by J. Weichard. These engravings are within borders of fruit, flowers, and animals, which are executed with an uncommon degree of elegance.
THE DANCE OF DEATH. 31 pears from some other of Hollar's prints, which have upon them these words at length. No panegyric is here wanting upon the works of this admirable artist... Show more
THE DANCE OF DEATH. 31 pears from some other of Hollar's prints, which have upon them these words at length. No panegyric is here wanting upon the works of this admirable artist; they are sufficiently known and esteemed by every collector of taste, and particularly his Dance of Death. The plates, which appear to have been but little used, have been till lately preserved in a noble family, and impressions from them are once more presented to the public, without the least alteration*. Vertue, in his description of Hollar's works, mentions that he engraved a reverse of the first print, an additional one without a border, repre-sentingtherich man disregarding the prayers of the poor; and three others from the set after Holbein, with four Latin verses at bottom. He also engraved the six first letters of the alphabet, adorned with small figures of a Death's Dance, and one large plate of the same subject for Dug-dale's St. Paul's, and the Monasticon ; but this last plate is only a copy from an old wooden cut prefixed to Lydgate's Dance of Macaber, at the end of his Fall of Princes, printed by Tottell in 1554, and was not intended to represent the Dance of Death at St. Paul's, as Mr. Warton has sup-posedf, but only as an emblematical frontispiece to the verses. * In the present edition, however, it was found requisite that the plates should be retouched, and it has been done with the utmost attention to the preservation of their original spirit and character. f Observ. on Spencer, vol. ii. 117.