The Duke

Dance of Death: The Duke

As with many of the scenes depicted in the Dance of Death, this one has a moralistic component, in addition to being a reminder of how fleeting life is.

Here we see a rich and powerful duke, surrounded by his courtiers. He is approached by a beggar woman with a small child who begs him for some charity, but the duke turns away from her in disgust. Meanwhile, Death who is crowned with leaves - perhaps an allusion to the wilting and passing nature of worldly power - suddenly seizes the Duke.

Next: The Abbott

Dance of Death

Dance of Death

The Dance of Death is an important allegory commenting on human mortality and the passing transience of life. It depicts Death as a fairly jovial skeleton armed with a scythe, who invites his victims to a dance which invariably ends in their demise. The point of the allegory is that no one can refuse its invitation to the dance: hgh church officials, kings or paupers, all must dance and eventually die.