Saturday, April 18, 2015

Danse macabre

I know this post doesn't quite follow my whole blogs theme but it is an interesting topic nonetheless. What is danse macabre and why are so many people (myself included) drawn to it's appeal?

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre


Danse macabre translated into english is dance of death and are medieval drawings depictating death. These images can be seen as death summoning people from all walks of life to dance amongst the graves. It didn't matter from which social class you belong to; rich or poor, we all have one thing in common: We are all going to die someday. The dead usually can be seen dancing with the pope, a king, a child and a labourer. These drawings were produced to remind people on how short and fragile their lives were. To not take anything for granted.

Rumour has it, one of the first danse macabre was the death of the Cimetière des Innocents, painted in 1424.

During the second half of the fifteenth century,the danse macabre was growing in popularity throughout Europe. Some were painted outdoors and some were seen in manuscripts or books.

The Danse Macabres were mostly carved on the outside walls of cloisters, family vaults, ossuaries, and inside churches.

 If I ever could get to Europe one day, one thing I would like to do is hunt down any danse macabres so I could see them personally.


Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre




6 comments:

  1. I do like the pictures they have eerily beautiful. When I sometime go to work I enjoyed listening to the classical music radio, where would play the song I can't remember the song or the play it came from. Anyway the host would describe the scene of Death Dancing in the a cemetery. My mind always conjured up some hilarious images, as two words aren't something I would combine. Also it maybe to some reference to the images. I will look into it's intrigued me

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    1. That's pretty neat. I am going to look into that.

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  2. A couple of yoears ago we had a whole course at the university about macabre art and especially the Danse Macabre. It was great, and this post reminds me of it! :3 In the Middle Ages there was also a popular book that was part of the same macabre tradition; Ars Moriendi (The art of dying). It is a guide book for people and teaches how to accept the inevitability of death just like the Danse Macabre murals did.

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    1. Oh that is awesome, you are really lucky to take that course. I am going to look into Ars Moriendi too. Thanks for the info, Jade. Much appreciated

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  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous imagery, love this post! ♥

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  4. Really interesting, and beautiful imagery. Made me do a search to see if there are any on display near me, but couldn’t find any. I will make sure to check the next time I go travelling.

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