Local, National, Global

Vanitas Vanitatum!

The “Tödlein” in the Ludwig collection. Representations of death in early modern times
Using the finest carving technique and embedded in a lavishly decorated casket made from ivory and ebony, the ivory “Tödlein” (little death) conveys its frightening message: life is transient!
The narrative in the works of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein and Hendrick Goltzius also reflects how concerned the people of early modern times and beyond were with themes of death and redemption: a suitably morbid context for the “Tödlein”, this unique work of remembrance from the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig, to whom this catalogue and exhibition are dedicated, supplemented by the three-dimensional portrayal of the Baseler Totentanz (dance of death) and numerous prints.

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"Vanitas Vanitatum!"

February 2012

ISBN 978-3-86678-653-0

22,00 x 28,00 cm

144 Pages

74 colored and 19 b/w illustrations

Hardcover, bound, with dust-jacket

Languages: German

Christine Vogt
Text by
Nina Dunkmann, Stefanie Knöll, Marliesa Kommans, Jennifer Liß, Luise Maslow, Katharina Mura, Michael Overdick, Sabrina Pompe, Michael Rief, Mirjam Verhey und Christine Vogt
Design by
Uwe Eichholz
Exhibition „Vanitas Vanitatum! Das Tödlein aus der Sammlung Ludwig. Todesdarstellungen in der Frühen Neuzeit“, 5 February to 6 May 2012, Ludwiggalerie Schloss Oberhausen

Further publications of the artist

  • Der gute Weg zum Himmel
    The Good Path to Heaven: Late Medieval Images of Dying Well. The Painting ars bene moriendi from the Peter and Irene Ludwig Collection

    Der gute Weg zum Himmel