New Publication: ‘Picturing Death 1200–1600’, edited by Stephen Perkinson & Noa Turel

Series: Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History, Volume: 321/50Brill’s Studies on Art, Art History, and Intellectual History, Volume: 321/50

Picturing Death: 1200–1600 explores the visual culture of mortality over the course of four centuries that witnessed a remarkable flourishing of imagery focused on the themes of death, dying, and the afterlife. In doing so, this volume sheds light on issues that unite two periods—the Middle Ages and the Renaissance—that are often understood as diametrically opposed. The studies collected here cover a broad visual terrain, from tomb sculpture to painted altarpieces, from manuscripts to printed books, and from minute carved objects to large-scale architecture. Taken together, they present a picture of the ways that images have helped humans understand their own mortality, and have incorporated the deceased into the communities of the living. 

Contributors: Jessica Barker, Katherine Boivin, Peter Bovenmyer, Xavier Dectot, Maja Dujakovic, Brigit Ferguson, Alison C. Fleming, Fredrika Jacobs, Henrike C. Lange, Robert Marcoux, Walter S. Melion, Stephen Perkinson, Johanna Scheel, Mary Silcox, Judith Steinhoff, and Noa Turel.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Stephen Perkinson and Noa Turel

Part 1: Housing the Dead

Chapter 1: Looking beyond the Face: Tomb Effigies and the Medieval Commemoration of the Dead, by Robert Marcou

Chapter 2: Portraiture, Projection, Perfection: The Multiple Effigies of Enrico Scrovegni, by Henrike Christiane Lange

Chapter 3: Plorans ploravit in nocte: The Birth of the Figure of the Pleurant in Tomb Sculpture, by Xavier Dectot

Chapter 4: Gendering Prayer in Trecento Florence: Tomb Paintings in Santa Croce and San Remigio, by Judith Steinhoff

Chapter 5: Two-Story Charnel-House Chapels and the Space of Death in the Medieval City, by Katherine M. Boivin

Part 2: Mortal Anxieties and Living Paradoxes

Chapter 6: The Living Dead and the Joy of the Crucifixion, by Brigit G. Ferguson

Chapter 7: The Speaking Tomb: Ventriloquizing the Voices of the Dead, by Jessica Barker

Chapter 8: Feeding Worms: The Theological Paradox of the Decaying Body and Its Depictions in the Context of Prayer and Devotion, by Johanna Scheel

Chapter 9: Not Quite Dead: Imaging the Miracle of Infant Resuscitation, by Fredrika H. Jacobs

Part 3: The Macabre, Instrumentalized

Chapter 10: Dissecting for the King: Guido da Vigevano and the Anatomy of Death, by Peter Bovenmyer

Chapter 11: Covert Apotheoses: Archbishop Henry Chichele’s Tomb and the Vocational Logic of Early Transis, by Noa Turel

Chapter 12: Into Print: Early Illustrated Books and the Reframing of the Danse Macabre, by Maja Dujakovic

Chapter 13: Death Commodified: Macabre Imagery on Luxury Objects, c. 1500, by Stephen Perkinson

Part 4: Departure and Persistence

Chapter 14: Coemeterium Schola: The Emblematic Imagery of Death in Jan David’s Veridicus Christianus, by Walter S. Melion

Chapter 15: A Protestant Reconceptualization of Images of Death and the Afterlife in Stephen Bateman’s A Christall Glasse, by Mary V. Silcox

Chapter 16: Shifting Role Models within the Society of Jesus: The Abandonment of Grisly Martyrdom Images c. 1600, by Alison C. Fleming

Find out more here.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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