Death Delivers the Sword to the People

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Fourth plate of Rethel's Dance of Death showing Death stirring up an uprising and offering a sword
Fourth plate from Rethel's "Yet Another Dance of Death."

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The Getty Research Institute, The Internet Archive

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Description

The figure of Death, standing as an orator on the public scaffold at the marketplace, dominates the fourth woodcut of Rethel’s Dance of Death. His eloquence has stirred up an uprising under the flag of the republic—possibly held by the executioner—and he offers a sword engraved with the words Volks Justiz (People’s Justice) to an excited crowd already armed with clubs and stones as soldiers march forward in the background.

The title reads in the original German: Der Tod übergibt dem Volk das Schwert.

This series of plates was engraved under the supervision of Hugo Bürkner.

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