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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, Issue 17, March, 1859

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Author: Various Authors
Published: 1859
Language: English
Wordcount: 86,946 / 255 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54
LoC Category: AP
Downloads: 645
Added to site: 2004.07.01
mnybks.net#: 8354
Genre: Periodical
Excerpt

not the creation of a personage,--Death. It is not until the thirteenth or fourteenth century that we find this embodiment clearly defined and generally recognized; and even then the figure used was not a skeleton, but a cadaverous and emaciated body.

Among the remains of Greek and Roman Art, only two groups are known in which a skeleton appears; and it is remarkable that in both of these the skeletons are dancing. In one group of three, the middle figure is a female. Its comparative breadth at the shoulders and narrowness at the hips make at first a contrary impression; but the position of the body and limbs is, oddly enough, too like that of a female dancer of the modern French school to leave the question in more than a moment's doubt. Thus the artists who did not embody their idea of death in a skeleton were the first to conceive and execute a real Dance of Death. In both the groups referred to, the motive is manifestly comic; and neither of them has any similarity to the Dances of Death of which Holb

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