The English Dance of Death
Thomas Rowlandson. London, 1814-16; 1817.
First editions. 2 volumes, along with The Dance of Life, together, 3 volumes. Engraved colored title-page and 37 hand-colored engraved plates in each volume of the Dance of Death, 25 hand-colored plates in the Dance of Life, by Rowlandson. Tall 8vo, contemporary calf with gilt borders and spines, green and tan spine labels, by Tout.
From bookride: “Rowlandson’s work, among his best, is a jollier affair more of a satire on the follies and anomalies of his time. Gordon N. Ray claims that this work is “the only series on the subject since Holbein’s to rival that master.” Martin Hardie writes: “It is obvious at a glance that the artist bestowed exceptional care on the illustrations for this book. The union of the gruesome and the grotesque appealed strongly to his imagination, and in completeness of detail and carefulness of grouping the illustrations excel nearly all his other work. The hand-colouring also has been judiciously applied. Combe’s versification is full of wit, and shows a force and vigour surprising in a man who had passed his allotted threescore years and ten — a fact that adds a certain grimness to the work.” “