Dance of Death by Hans Holbein: A Linocut Workshop with Classically Trained Artist Lado Pochkua

“Melior est mors quam vita” to the aged woman who crawls gravewards with her bone rosary while Death makes music in the van.

Image: “Melior est mors quam vita” to the aged woman who crawls gravewards with her bone rosary while Death makes music in the van.” From Hans Holbein’s “Dance of Death.”

Dates: Mondays May 20, May 27 & June 3
Time: 7 - 10 PM
Admission: $60
***MUST RSVP to morbidanatomylibrary [at]
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy

The “dance of death” or “danse macabre” was a “medieval allegorical concept of the all-conquering and equalizing power of death, expressed in the drama, poetry, music, and visual arts of western Europe, mainly in the late Middle Ages. It is a literary or pictorial representation of a procession or dance of both living and dead figures, the living arranged in order of their rank, from pope and emperor to child, clerk, and hermit, and the dead leading them to the grave.” (Encyclopedia Britannica). One of the best known expressions of this genre are a series of forty-two wood cuts by Hans Holbien published in 1538 under the title “Dance of Death.”

In this class, students will learn the techniques of woodcuts and linocuts by creating a copy of one of Hans Holbein’s prints from the Dance of Death series. The class will follow the entire process from beginning to end: drafting a copy of the image, either a fragment or whole; transfer of the image to a linoleum block; cutting the image; printing the image on paper. Students will leave class with their own finished Dance of Death linocut and the skills to produce their own pieces in the future.

  • Lesson 1: creating a copy of either a fragment or full image from the series on paper. The copy can either be freehand and stylized, or students can use a grid to copy more exactly.
  • Lesson 2: transfer the drawing to linoleum.
  • Lesson 3: correction of image, and beginning to cut the image.
  • Lesson 4: finalizing the cut image.
  • Lesson 5: Printing the image. Students will be able to use several colors and backgrounds to create the final image.


  • A block of linoleum: Blick Battleship Gray Linoleum, mounted or unmounted (details here)


  • Speedball Speedy-carve blocks, pink only (details here) Size: 9×12 or 8×10.


  • Linocutter set: Blick Lino Cutter Set (details here)Water soluble printing inks
  • Printing paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils
  • Black markers (fine point)

Lado Pochkhua was born in Sukhumi, Georgia in 1970. He received his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Tbilisi State Art Academy in Georgia in 2001. He currently divides his time between New York and Tbilisi, Georgia.

Selected Exhibitions:

  • 2011   “Works from the Creamer Street Studio,” at the Literature Museum, Tbilisi Georgia  (solo show)
  • 2010    “Paradise ” at Proteus Gowanus, New York
  • 2009    “Prague Biennale 4,” Georgian pavilion
  • 2009    “The Art of returning Home,” Arsi Gallery, Tbilisi Georgia (solo show)
  • 2008    Gardens, Ships, and Lessons, K. Petrys Ház Gallery, Budapest, Hungary (solo show) Exhibition of Georgian Artists, Festival OFF EUROPA ditorei Gallerie NBL, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2004    Artists of Georgia, Georgian Embassy, London, UK
  • 2003    Curriculum Vitae: a retrospective of 20th century Georgian art, Caravasla Tbilisi History Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia, Waiting for the Barbarians, Gallery Club 22, Tbilisi, Georgia (solo show)
  • 2001     21 Georgian Artists, UNESCO, Paris, France
  • 1998    Magical Geometry, TMS Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia (solo show)

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