Terrified by the trail of death that followed the Black Plague, an epidemic that devastated the European continent during the 14th Century causing the death of between a quarter and half of its population, the survivors created the Dance of Death, an allegory about the fragility of life and the inevitability of death that comes to all, regardless of age or social position. The fear of losing all earthly pleasures and the possibility of a sudden and painful end sharpened religious feelings of penitence whilst unleashing an irreverent spectacle, where the rich and powerful shared with the poor the terror of their inevitable destiny.
In Spain, the last remaining Dance of Death survives in Verges, a small village in the Catalan Empordà, linked since the 17th Century to the Easter Passion Play and Holy Week procession. With a great part of its little more than a thousand inhabitants participating, the streets of the village set the stage for the re-enactment of Jesus’s last journey to Calvary, escorted by Roman troops, impenitent Jews, Nazarenes and the dancers, mockers and harbingers of death.
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Archival pigment print on Hahnemulle Photorag Pearl 320 gr. Edition of 10 + 2 exhibition proofs, measuring approximately 36 x 55 cm (14 x 21 in.). Other versions exist in silver gelatin impressions of varying sizes.