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The Knight and Death, from The Dance of Death

A work made of etching in black on ivory wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching in black on ivory wove paper.




Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, 1607-1677)
after Hans Holbein the younger (German, c.1497-1543)

About this artwork

Hans Holbein’s famous Dance of Death woodcut series of 1538 (augmented in 1545) illustrated the medieval trope of the inescapability of mortality, regardless of one’s social rank or piety. These later etched copies by Hollar (1920.2251 and 1920.2259) capture the flavor of the original, showing a Landsknecht at two customary activities: hoisting his two-handed sword on the battlefield and gambling indoors. The fact that the soldier’s opponent in both cases is Death personified does not bode well for his chances.


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Prints and Drawings


Wenceslaus Hollar


The Knight and Death, from The Dance of Death


Bohemia (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1651


Etching in black on ivory wove paper


Sheet, trimmed within platemark: 7.1 × 5.2 cm (2 13/16 × 2 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Wallace L. DeWolf and Joseph Brooks Fair Collections

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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