Special Collections and Digital Initiatives 10.12.2017

A Coloring Book With Skeletons

Special Collections and Digital Initiatives has a brand new coloring book just in time for Halloween! The latest entry into our ongoing series features images from Hans Holbein's Alphabet of DeathThis book was published in 1857 and features printings of Holbein's original illustrations which were brought to life by engraver and woodcutter Hans Lutzelberger in Holbein's infamous 16th century "Dance of Death Alphabet." The woodcuts depict scythe-wielding skeletons who waggle hourglasses at rich and poor alike to hearken the inevitable. This and other similar works are attributed to a particular genre of allegory popular in the Late Middle Ages known as "Danse Macabre" and were put to paper in order to express the inescapable grasp of time and, eventually, death. This 1857 edition also features dour quatrains perfectly suited for mournful readings by candlelight on Halloween (so long as you can read Latin).

Download the coloring book here, or pick it up at a variety of locations around the library.

Happy Halloween!