Dance of Death

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Dance of Death imagery presents the eternal truth that death eventually comes for everyone. Portrayed by a skeletal figure, death arrives to lead the unsuspecting to their destiny. No one can refuse a dance with death; men and women, powerful and humble, rich and poor – all participate. Large compositions depicting this theme may include dozens of people dancing with death,  while smaller formats often show  dance between a skeleton and a person.

Dance of Death is  variously called Danse Macabre (French), Danza Macabra (Italian), Totentanz (German), Danza de la Muerte (Spanish), is an artistic genre which most probably developed in France,  click here..   It is about the universality of death: the Dance of Death unites all.  In the Middle-Ages, the Dance of Death was thought as a warning for powerful men, a comfort to the poor, and ultimately an invitation to lead a responsible and christian life. But its basic idea is even more simpler,  more timeless: to recall the shortness of life.  It makes men remember that they all will die, without exception.

Death Art entered the mainstream art in the late Medieval Period. This period was characterized by recurring famine, the Hundred Years War between France and England [1337—1453]; and the Black Death; which together decimated a large proportion of the population of West Europe. The Black Death alone killed about a third of population. The threat of death loomed large in people’s daily lives and under these conditions, the theme of death found it’s way in literature and arts in various forms..
- Dance of Death /Danse Macabre click here..
- The Triumph of Death click here..
- Death and the Maiden click here..


Danse Macabre /Dance of Death Figures can be seen here.. click here..


Dance of Death - by Michael Wolgemut

Dance of Death – by Michael Wolgemut


Danse of Death - by Otto Dix

Dance of Death – by Otto Dix


Walter Sauer 'Dance of Death'

Walter Sauer ‘Dance of Death’



[Japanese] Frolicking Skeleton - by Kawanabe Kyosai

[Japanese] Frolicking Skeleton – by Kawanabe Kyosai


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