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Danse Macabre

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This article is about La Dance Macabre, the late-medieval allegory. For other meanings, see Danse Macabre (disambiguation)
From The Dance of Death by Hans Holbein
From The Dance of Death by Hans Holbein

La Danse Macabre, also called Dance of death, La Danza Macabra, or Totentanz, is a late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the dance of death united all. La Danse Macabre consists of the personified death leading a row of dancing figures from all walks of life to the grave—typically with an emperor, king, pope, monk, youngster, beautiful girl, all in skeleton-state. They were produced under the impact of the Black Death, reminding people of how fragile their lives were and how vain the glories of earthly life were.

The earliest artistic example is from the frescoed cemetery of the Church of the Holy Innocents in Paris (1424). There are also works by Konrad Witz in Basel (1440), Bernt Notke in Lbeck (1463) and woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger (1538).

The final shots of the film The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman depict a kind of Danse Macabre.

Israil Bercovici claims that the Danse Macabre originated among Sephardic Jews in 14th century Spain (Bercovici, 1992, p. 27).

See also


References

  • James M. Clark. The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 1950.
  • Israil Bercovici. O sută de ani de teatru evriesc n Romnia ("One hundred years of Yiddish/Jewish theater in Romania"), 2nd Romanian-language edition, revised and augmented by Constantin Măciucă. Editura Integral (an imprint of Editurile Universala), Bucharest (1998). ISBN 9739827225.
  • Andr Corvisier. Les danses macabres, Presses Universitaires de France, 1998. ISBN 2130494951.de:Totentanz

fr:Danse macabre (christianisme) ja:死の舞踏 (美術) nl:Dodendans pl:Taniec śmierci pt:Danse Macabre fi:Kuolemantanssi

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