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German History in Documents and Images
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Dancing Peasants (late 16th Century)
Many of the popular illustrated broadsheets of the sixteenth century depict scenes from everyday life, such as this woodcut of a peasant dance. The verse at the bottom suggests that the first couple, Hans and Elß (left), are happy and in love, and celebrating their joy through dance. The second man, Paule, has other plans and wants to wear the wreath of his partner, Gret, in order to tease Elß. Gret, unamused, would sooner smack him across the head than relinquish the wreath. Woodcut by unknown German artist, late 16th century.