WEFOUNDThe Dance of Death Penguin Classics


It is not farfetchedness to think that this poet had just escaped death when he wrote that. He could have been recovering from a serious disease.

In the Middle-Ages, the dance of death was though 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. It is also not astonishing that every century since the Middle-Ages has had its own dances of death.

The list that follows is a non-exhaustive enumeration of the dances of death that are known. Those you can see on this site have a link.

It is not farfetchedness to think that this poet had just escaped death when he wrote that. He could have been recovering from a serious disease.

In the Middle-Ages, the dance of death was though 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. It is also not astonishing that every century since the Middle-Ages has had its own dances of death.

The list that follows is a non-exhaustive enumeration of the dances of death that are known. Those you can see on this site have a link.

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Aliquam ligula odio, euismod ut aliquam et, vestibulum nec risus. Nulla viverra, arcu et iaculis consequat, justo diam ornare tellus, semper ultrices tellus nunc eu tellus.

  • Clark, James C. The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance . Glasgow: Jackson, 1950. E-mail Citation »

    Still a useful introduction to the subject with a survey of the occurrence of the Dance across Europe, albeit outdated in some of its earlier assumptions about dates and examples; includes some illustrations.

    'The underlying message of the series is, of course, that Death comes for us all, and if it interrupts the recreations of the wealthy rather more insolently than those of the poor, then let that be a lesson to us' Nick Lezard, Guardian

    A new departure in Penguin Classics: a book containing one of the greatest of all Renaissance woodcut sequences - Holbein's bravura danse macabre

    One of Holbein's first great triumphs, The Dance of Death is an incomparable sequence of tiny woodcuts showing the folly of human greed and pride, with each image packed with drama, wit and horror as a skeleton mocks and terrifies everyone from the emperor to a ploughman. Taking full advantage of the new literary culture of the early 16th century, The Dance of Death took an old medieval theme and made it new.

    This edition of The Dance of Death reproduces a complete set from the British Museum, with many details highlighted and examples of other works in this grisly field.

    It is not farfetchedness to think that this poet had just escaped death when he wrote that. He could have been recovering from a serious disease.

    In the Middle-Ages, the dance of death was though 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. It is also not astonishing that every century since the Middle-Ages has had its own dances of death.

    The list that follows is a non-exhaustive enumeration of the dances of death that are known. Those you can see on this site have a link.

    Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Aliquam ligula odio, euismod ut aliquam et, vestibulum nec risus. Nulla viverra, arcu et iaculis consequat, justo diam ornare tellus, semper ultrices tellus nunc eu tellus.

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