This article is about La Danse Macabre, the late-medieval allegory. For other meanings of Danse Macabre or Dance of Death, see Danse Macabre .
, from the Liber chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel.]]Dance of Death, also variously called Danse Macabre (French), Danza Macabra (Italian and Spanish) or Totentanz (German), is a late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the dance of death unites all. La Danse Macabre consists of the personified death leading a row of dancing figures from all walks of life to the grave—typically with an emperor, king, pope, monk, youngster, beautiful girl, all skeletal. They were produced to remind people of how fragile their lives were and how vain the glories of earthly life were. Its origins are postulated from illustrated sermon texts; the earliest artistic examples are in a cemetery in Paris from 1424.
(c.1562) in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder who was strongly influe