Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Danse Macabre

The Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death, is an artistic theme found primarily in medieval art and highlights the pessimistic and morbid aftertaste left lingering in Europe after the Black Death. It illustrates the fact that people from all walks of life are subject to death and makes the point that we as humans are all equal in the grave. It usually features people as skeletons or corpses (usually which include a king, a beautiful girl, and a child) in a procession, typically dancing. The theme of the Danse Macabre has been used since the 15th century in paintings, theatre, music, literature, and later in film and is thought to have originated from illustrated sermon texts. The first artistic expressions can be traced back to a cemetery in Paris from 1492.

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