Funerals as Represented by Artists
Whether it be writing, painting, dance or film, death has always been a popular, yet
taboo subject of art. For as many forms of art as you can imagine, there is an artist
waiting to tackle this challenging and sometimes troubling subject.
Rubia's Jewels
Fine Hand Crafted
Custom Jewelry

Visit our website to
see our  selection

This main topic focuses on all subjects, but
not limited to, topics dealing with funeral in
the arts. Whether it be film, dance, theater
productions, or a variety of other art forms.
It also covers, funeral music from the past
and present, be it symphony or modern. It
also includes sections about books, short
stories, poetry, paintings, murals, and more.
Main Menu
Funeral Museum
Funerary Arts
the funeral source
"the" source for funeral information
Need help with
Pre-need plans
in your area?

Join the free
TFS Consumer

click here
Burial of St. Lucy
Dance of Death or Danse Macabre
A Representative or scene in medieval art and
literature stressing Death’s power over man.
Death usually takes form of a skeleton leading
people of all classes, rich and poor alike, in a
dance to the grave.

The Dance of Death probably began in 14th
century Germany as a morality play in which
Death carried on a dialogue with his followers.
Dramatic presentations became common in
France, England, and Spain.
Medieval Dances
In the Middle Ages the church permitted dancing in miracle and mystery plays
performed on church porches. At first the only characters who danced were Satan
and his followers. Later plays included other dancers.

An unexplained hysteria, called dance mania, seized Europe in the 11th century. At
festivals and funerals people danced frenziedly in churchyards in efforts to
communicate with the dead. When dancers would not stop at the command of a
priest according to legend, he would curse them to dance all year. The dance curse
inspired Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, Red Shoes. Another fairy tale,
Sleeping Beauty, is derived from a Hungarian funeral dance in which one person
pretends to die and is kissed back to life.

The churchyard dancing is called danse macabre (from the French word for
“dance” and the Arabic for “churchyards”). It is also known as the “dance of
death.” (The definition for Dance of Death describes a later dance, one that was
used for morality plays, the two should not be confused.)
Many artists used the subject. As early as 1425 a series of
drawings with accompanying verses was painted on the
wall of the churchyard of the Monastery of the Innocents
in Paris. Hans Holbein the Younger did a notable series of
woodcuts on the subject.

Goethe and W.H. Auden are among the poets who have
written verse interpretations of the Dance of Death.
Camille Saint-Saens composed Danse Macabre (1875), a
symphonic tone poem that is the most notable musical
expression of the theme.
Do you have questions or comments? You can email us directly or
choose from a variety of ways to contact The Funeral Source
The Funeral is operated by The Funeral Source, Cincinnati, Ohio 45239
All Rights Reserved Copyright (c) 2015
Visitor Comments
"Ask the Source"
Funeral Consultation
Funeral Planning
The Memorial Source
Funeral Services
Coffee & Caskets
Home Funerals
Funeral News
TFSConsumer Network
Final Words
La Danse Macabre- Hans Holbein
Danse Macabre- Camille Saint-Saens
Hans Holbein the Younger
Funeral Consultations
"Offering our help, to guide you through, life's final journey" the funeral source