Traditional nose dance, 16th century

Traditional nose dance, 16th century

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Caption: Traditional nose dance. Coloured copy of 'Nose Dance' (circa 1534), a woodcut by the German artist and printer (Hans) Sebald Beham (1500-1550). This work depicts kermis (kermesse), a traditional peasant church holiday. Scenes include a dance for large-nosed people (foreground), a sweet stall, fighting and feasting (across centre), and a rooster dance, sword fight and skittles (background). Accompanied by German text, the symbolism includes sexual motifs and jokes related to nose sizes. The prizes (top of pole) are a garland, nose mask and underpants. The monogram (bottom right) identifies the printer Nikolaus Meldemann.

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