Danse Macabre

The Dance of Death

Ali Gentry, Haris Rafiq, and Young Lee - 2nd Period


Translated to “dance of death” in English, danse macabre is an artistic theme from the Northern Renaissance that depicts people of all social classes dancing with skeletons.


The danse macabre symbolized the universality of death as everyone, regardless of social standing or gender, dies in the end. The dance of death involved personifying the phenomenon of passing away, usually including procession around a grave with popes, emperors, kings, children, and laborers. Instances of the danse macabre can be studied through historical paintings in Spain, Germany, and France. The public's infatuation with death hinted that Christianity was failing because it was no longer consoling people about the certainty of the afterlife. Great death tolls involved with the Black Plague and the Hundred Years' War piqued Renaissance society's acceptance of death.


Here is a photoshopped picture of skeletons dancing at a modern club - a real danse macabre!
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Works Cited

"Dance of Death." CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA:. 12 Apr. 2010. Web. 2 Sept. 2015.

"Dance of Death | Danse Macabre | Danza Macabra | Пляска Смерти." Dance of Death | Danse Macabre | Danza Macabra | Пляска Смерти. 7 Mar. 2005. Web. 2 Sept. 2015.

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