The countess is putting on a new dress and is about to also put on some rich ornaments. On the chest are a brush, mirror and death's hour glass. Even as she revels in the pleasure of trying on a new dress, Death is standing behind her and placing a necklace of bones around her neck.
Next: The New Bride
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.