Chess is my favourite game, the “Game of Kings”. In this painting, (if the viewer is a keen player) you can actually plan the next five moves ahead; culminating in victory for the Devil.
The story of Dr. Faustus draws from factual circumstances that occurred in the fourteenth century. So lustful was he for the power of Necromancy and prophecy, he made a pact with Satan and sold his soul in return for the dark gift. Outwitting Faust, the Devil returned, within only a few years to claim his soul.
This painting was created based on a dream, where the Jester plays a guardian. The Green Death takes humans from the land; the Blue Death takes from the sea; the Yellow from fever, plagues and disease; the Red Death from fire, purple is the colour we see before we die and Black Death is always present and guides the soul.