In this painting, one can find three references: Le Christ au tombeau by Holbein, Les bergers d'Arcadie by Poussin, La danse des paysans by Bruegel.
A lying man stands for the scenery of this painting. He is also used as a pedestal by a couple who is dancing on a wiggly line that goes from the bottom of the frame to end up by the border of the vegetation, and by a duplication of Poussin's drawing concentrated on a small surface. Life and death are woven along the same weft as the shroud is changing into a landscape and links nature's and joie de vivre's birth to death, passing by the tiny and enigmatic central point of the drawing – shepherds reading an inscription on the vault : ET IN ARCADIA EGO, Memento mori also translated I am in Arcadia,(the country of bliss).
In spite of the view roughly closed by a tragic sky, the painting is not oppressive. On the contrary, a mixed feeling of serenity and cheerfulness triumphs over this fight.
Holbein : Christ au tombeau
Bruegel : Danse des paysans
Nicolas Poussin : Les bergers d'Arcadie.