From Wikipedia: Danse Macabre.
Dance of Death, also variously called Danse Macabre (French), Danza Macabra (Italian) 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, 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.1 Its origins are postulated from illustrated sermon texts; the earliest artistic examples are in a cemetery in Paris from 1424. [continue]
Oh, and you wouldn’t want to miss Hans Holbein’s Dance of Death Alphabet.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust. (Congreve?)
But from this earth, this grave, this dust
My God shall raise me up, I trust. (Sir Walter Raleigh)
Two people close to me have experienced a death in the family this week. Your entry today is most timely. Death is the great equalizer, putting not only social status but earthly acquisitions in their proper perspective.