Judy just emailed me a link with Danse Macabre images (oh, she knows me too well). The Danse Macabre was a theme during the Black Plague days, in which death is personified and dances away with the victims. A great movie that addresses this issue is the Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman. Max von Sydow plays a knight who wanders the plague ridden countryside, shadowed by Death...they even play a game of chess...quite civilized.
In any event, as most of you may know I am obsessed with the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. The concepts behind the Danse Macabre are very similar to the personifications in the Latin holiday. Jose Posada's woodcuts from the early 1900's are very similar. Very comical yet grim reminders of mortality. It's my belief, that in both cases, they are very necessary examples of comic relief...they are attempts to laugh at death despite the reaper's inevitable victory. This plays into my theory that only by recognizing ones own mortal fragility can one really appreciate life...perhaps this is why the Mexican culture always seemed happier than the American culture (which is interesting given the obvious economic differences). Just a thought.
Here is a piece by Posada...more dead dudes dancing....they have pretty good moves...considering....they're dead.
Then, of course there is my version...these stamps are from my Stampers Anonymous line...haven't gotten to the dancing theme yet though...