The Three living and the three dead

The three living
Guy Marchant, Three living
The three dead and the hermit
Guy Marchant, Three dead

Let use this pause in the dance as an opportunity to remind ourselves that the women's dance is not an extension of the men's. We must not imagine that as soon as "La danse macabre des femmes" was created, the two dance-sequences cleaved unto each other never again to be separated.

Instead the various books should be regarded as anthologies containing a selection of sundry didactic poems. For instance in the manuscript MS 25434 there are seven other texts between the men's dance and the women's.

In Guyot Marchant's printed book from 1486, Miroer Salutaire, and in BNF 995 the (largest) text separating the two dances is the legend of the three living meeting the three dead (and a hermit).

There had in fact been such a sculpture at the entrance to the church of St. Innocents since 1408 donated by Jean, Duc de Berry (John the Magnificent, Duke of Berry).

In "Miroer Salutaire" the first half of the book ended after the three living and three dead: »Cy finit la danse macabre hystoriee et augmentee de pleuseurs nouueaux parsonnages et beaux dis. et le trois mors et trois vif emsembles«. This part of the book was evidently printed in the year of the Lord 1486, 7th June: »Lan de grace mil quatre cent quatre vingz et six, le septieme iour de iuing«.

The second half with the women's dance was printed one month later, 7th July, because it ended: »Lan de grace mil quatre cent quatre vingz et six, le septiesme iour de iuillet«.

There's no reason to reproduce the text here. To see more pictures of the three living and the three dead you might take a detour through the office of the dead or visit the gallery, before the dance goes on.

Various Artists

Guy Marchant (1486)
Guy Marchant 1486: Three living
Guy Marchant (1486)
Guy Marchant 1486: Three dead
Antoine Vérard (1492)
Antoine Vérard 1492: The three dead
Antoine Vérard (1492)
Antoine Vérard 1492: The three living
Nicolas Oudot (1641)
Nicolas Oudot 1641: Three living
Nicolas Oudot (1641)
Nicolas Oudot 1641: Three dead
Baillieu (1862)
Baillieu 1862: Three dead

Up to the Danse macabre des Hommes