Totentanz means “Death Dance”, and this November, the dead will dance again by the Predigerkirche. Artist and director Peter Greenaway has put up gravestones outside and inside the church and will project the “Dance of the Dead” onto them. There will also be presentations, concerts and other events.
Pictorial representations of Dances of Death developed all over Europe following the 15th century, most likely in response to episodes of the plague. Particularly known in Basel is The Basel Dance of Death, painted on the inside wall of the cemetery of the Dominican convent. The original, created approximately between 1431 and 1439, dramatised 40 people from all walks of life entangled with the representation of death. In 1805, the wall was pulled down and only 19 fragments were saved. Those 19 pieces were restored several times and even changed. They are now on display in the Historische Museum Basel, where the fascinating history of this work is highlighted, and the magnitude of its original form is emphasised by forty-two sculpted reproductions of the pairs of figures as they were in the original 60-metre-long mural. In the museum are also shown the original drawings of Peter Greenaway.
Museum entrance is 12 Swiss francs.
Participating in a tour is free.
Information and booking of private tours at the following: Tel. +41 (0)61 205 86 70