Das Schema der Bilder-Ars aus dem 15. Jahrhundert

For an english explanation

1a. Versuchung im Glauben
1b. Ermutigung im Glauben
2a. Versuchung durch Verzweiflung
2b. Trost durch Zuversicht
3a. Versuchung durch Ungeduld
3b. Trost durch Geduld
4a. Versuchung durch Hochmut
4b. Trost durch Demut
5a. Versuchung durch zeitliche Güter
5b. Trost durch Abwendung vom Irdischen
6 bzw. 11. Die Todesstunde: das glückliche Ende

Explanation in english

A typical small educational brochure consisted of eleven woodcuts. In each picture the dying person was shown in bed, an Everyman of about forty, with whom all could identify. Five woodcuts (nrs. 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) illustrated the five great temptations. Terrible devils' faces bear down on the moribundus from all sides. They show him his register of sins and let all his life's misdeeds parade by. As perjuror, adulterer, miser, drunkard, glutton, thief, and murderer he would stand no chance of God's mercy. The woodcuts would appeal also to his vanity, would flatter him, remind him of his life's accomplishments, the honors, heroic deeds, and fame. They would mention all his possessions, to distract him from concentrating on dying in a way that would please God.

The corresponding images on another five woodcuts (nrs. 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10), however, showed the heavenly forces hurrying to his side: angels, saints, and the Trinity. They supported the dying person in his struggle for the soul. Five times he would resist with their help. Then he died. The eleventh woodcut would show the happy end: an angel ready to receive the expired soul in the shape of a small naked child and lead it into God's heavenly splendor.

For the full paragraph in the article .