Dance of Death,

Dance of Death,
also a song by The Apocalypse




an allegorical theme in art, literature, and music. It was based on the popular belief, fostered by the plagues and wars of the 14th and 15th centuries, that the dead, as skeletons, rose from their graves and tempted the living, of all ages and ranks, to join them in a dance that brought them finally to death.

The dance of death, or danse macabre, or Totentanz, was first embodied in murals and a poem (1424-1425) in the Church of the Holy Innocents in Paris. The Parisian printer Guyot Marchant published a version in woodcuts and verse (1485), which was circulated throughout Europe. The dance of death was subsequently painted on many church walls and inspired a famous set of 51 drawings produced from 1523 to 1535 by the German painter Hans Holbein the Younger.

The theme continued to attract attention in later periods. The 18th-century German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote verses on the subject, as did the 20th-century British-American poet W. H. Auden. Notable musical treatments of the theme include Totentanz (1864) by the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and Danse Macabre (1874) by the French composer Camille Saint-Saƫns.




























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