Der Totentanz
August 11, 2012 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Ein Totentanz (1922), by Walter Draesner, is a book of astonishing papercut silhouettes showing death's visits to different kinds of victims. Some of the more spectacular ones are Death and the aviator, Death on the railway, and Death and the soldier. (A previous Totentanz FPP, and another with a link to an English language description of the phenomenon) posted by barnacles (24 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite
Death and the Hallows
posted by Fizz at 6:03 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Amazing. Thank you!
posted by jet_manifesto at 6:10 AM on August 11, 2012

Death by a million cuts. Nice find.
posted by hal9k at 6:23 AM on August 11, 2012

Beautifully horrible.
posted by Egg Shen at 6:40 AM on August 11, 2012

I was kind of hoping Death and the Rake was a Sideshow Bob reference.
posted by arcticseal at 6:45 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

This is pretty excellent. I am ashamed to say that arcticseal stole my jokey response, so I am just left with sincerity.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:03 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

These are incredible. Nice post!
posted by idest at 7:04 AM on August 11, 2012

The little details make it super creepy, like the one at sea with death smoking a sailor pipe. Great artwork.
posted by Iosephus at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2012

Here's a short YouTube slideshow, should you like that sort of thing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Death and the children made my heart skip a beat. Fantastically creepy.
posted by victoriab at 7:21 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

These are incredible! I love Death and the Anatomist, it's straight out of a horror movie.
posted by biscotti at 7:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

These are tremendous.

kenko, thank you for finding that link. This one in particular has stayed with me. If I were terminally ill, I would seriously request that as the cover art for my funeral program.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:01 AM on August 11, 2012

Beautiful stuff. This is absolutely fantastic and some of the best art I've seen in a while. TIP: If you want to download any of these as a high-resolution picture, just make your browser super-wide and choose the "fit to width" icon in the upper right.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:26 AM on August 11, 2012

Beautiful, macabre, so impressive. Thank you!
posted by Angharad at 8:54 AM on August 11, 2012

Soundtrack for viewing.
posted by bukvich at 10:06 AM on August 11, 2012

These really are stunning. (And the Uni has a collection of other scanned-and-downloadable books with Totentanz imagery as well.)
posted by ubersturm at 10:07 AM on August 11, 2012

Tangentially related.
posted by John of Michigan at 10:32 AM on August 11, 2012

La danse des morts, especially nice is this double-faced man becomes corpse figure, and death of a Jester.
posted by mfoight at 12:50 PM on August 11, 2012

posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:36 PM on August 11, 2012

Just remarkable. These images could be the illustrations for a number of pieces of literature (The Master & Margarita, I'm looking at you) and the visual interpretation of so many pieces of music (Danse Macabre anyone?). They're eerie and evocative and universally relevant. Thanks Barnacles!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 6:29 PM on August 11, 2012

I find "Death and the Railway," "Death in the Fire," and "Death and the Children" the most horrifying; not sure why.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:28 PM on August 11, 2012

Good one barnacles. This book is actually part of a larger danse macabre collection and in my years of trawling the web for material of this nature, it's the central repository of choice for all your dance macabre/totentanz/death's dance/danza de la muerte/dança da Morte/dodendans needs.

The Heinrich Hein University of Düsseldorf's „Mensch und Tod“ collection ----->

[which I sampled last year if you want a quickie overview]
posted by peacay at 1:15 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I appreciate that website for also printing the *back* of the pages. It adds to my feeling of paging through an old book.
posted by acrasis at 8:12 AM on August 12, 2012

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