Ples s smrtjoTomislav Vignjević
, 2006, izvirni znanstveni članek
Opis: The dance of death, one of the most characteristic motifs of late-mediaeval and Renaissance art, has within the scope of its meaning preserved the basically negative connotation of a dance that was condemned by the Church throughout the Middle Ages. As a specific form of dancing in graveyards, quite widespread in the mediaeval period and prohibited by numerous Church orders, it further augmented the quality of subverting social and religious norms as one of the constitutive elements of the dance of death iconography. It combined the duality of meaning exhibited by the representation of an entire social structure in the form of a dance in which members of individual classes dance with Death. The hierarchy of the social structure, based on gradation from the pope at the beginning to the beggar and child at the end of the line, was presented in a transparent way and at the same time distorted by the fundamental idea of being equal before Death and by the dance with skeletons, which stood for the annulment of the hierarchical order. The social structure as presented by dances of death corresponded to the already familiar class distinctions, depicted in this iconographic topic in various types of classification into larger social groups: from the three-functional distinction into three social orders and the division into clerics and lay people, to the most widespread form of alternation of secular and clerical classes. Thus, the familiar models of social distinction into classes and groups were represented, the holders of authority and social power manifestly set at the head of a hierarchy that was at the same time the object of egalitarian criticism.
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