Discussion: How might this image relate to the ideas expressed in Martin Luther’s “An Open Letter to The Christian Nobility” 1520?

How might this image relate to the ideas expressed in Martin Luther’s “An Open Letter to The Christian Nobility” 1520?


  1. Martin Luther talks about how you can't buy your way out of sin how you can't have a pope or a priest simply pardon you from judgment into hell simply by paying him. This image displays memento mori how everyone will eventually die how everyone essentially and eventually has the same fate. The image relates to what Martin Luther discusses because no matter what you do the results will be the same and that you will die but that if you have faith in God you won't have to pay the church your way of of immortal sin since everyone has the same fate.

    1. There was a lot of discrimination between the church and citizens of lesser status for example serfs, Martin Luther argues what is the difference between a man's role in life and that of the pope? The skull in the picture as well as other icons represent memento mori, and martin luther argues that eventually we will all die and have the same fate so who is the church to argue someone's status in society in compared to the church? He argues how the church should not discriminate solely based on status and that we are all the same under god and we all in the end have the same fate, death.

  2. This image depicts some of the ideas that Martin Luther had talked about in his written letter. The image shows that everyone ends up in the same fate no matter your role in society. No one goes unpunished, even the pope. In the letter he quotes “There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.” For people to believe that the pope has ultimate power in life and death is ridiculous to Martin Luther. To Martin Luther he believes that the pope has scared everyone even the prince and princess's which have the utmost power to believe that for them to not believe and trust the pope is disobedience to god.

  3. This image may relate to Martin Luther's "An Open Letter to The Christian Nobility" 1520 in many ways. Durer's The Knights Death and Devil" 1513. Durer's copper engraving portrays memento-mori with the use of the skull and the signed and dated tablet in the bottom left hand corner. Luther speaks of memento-mori throughout his letter preaching of the actions of Christians on earth before dying of this world. Durer engraves a castle on the top of the hill to represent the same heaven Luther speaks about in his writing.

    Laurie Ericson October 4, 2012 2:00 P.M.