La Mort: Mon ironie dépasse toutes les autres! Il y a des convulsions de plaisir aux funérailles des rois, à l'extermination d'un peuple;—et on fait la guerre avec de la musique, des panaches, des drapeaux, des harnais d'or, un déploiement de cérémonie pour me rendre plus d'hommages.that said, it is actually from a description that later follows that Redon appears to've taken the material for his image (particularly the part in bold):
(Eng: "Death: My irony surpasses all others! There are convulsions of pleasure at the funerals of kings, at the extermination of a people—and war is waged with music, plumes, flags, gold harnesses, a whole ceremonious display to render me greater homage.")
Death [to Lust]: It is I who renders you serious; let us embrace!
Death sniggers, Lust roars. They take each other by the waist and together sing:
-I hasten the decay of matter!
-I help to scatter seeds!
-You destroy, for my renewing!
-You breed, for my destroying!
-Make me more potent!
-Impregnate me where I rot!
And their voice, whose rolling echoes fill the horizon, becomes so loud that Anthony falls flat on his back.
A tremor, from time to time, makes him open his eyes; and he discerns in the darkness before him a kind of monster.
It is a death's head with a crown of roses. It rises above a woman's torso, pearly white. Beneath this, a shroud starred with dots of gold acts as a sort of tail—and the whole body undulates, as might a gigantic worm lifting upright.
The vision dims, disappears.
Anthony gets up.
Anthony: It was yet again the Devil, and in his double guise: the spirit of fornication and the spirit of destruction.
Neither of the two can terrify me. I reject happiness, and I feel eternal.
Death is then a mere illusion, a veil, masking in places the continuity of life...