Memory and the Medieval Tomb

Overview

Reverent Memorial for the dead was the inspiration for the production of a significant category of artworks during the Middle Ages, artworks aimed as much at the laity as at the clergy, and intended to maintain, symbolically, the presence of the dead. Memoria, the term that describes the formal, liturgical memory of the dead, also includes artworks intended to house and honor the deceased. This volume explores the ways in which medieval Christians sought to memorialize the deceased; with tombs, cenotaphs,altars ...
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Overview

Reverent Memorial for the dead was the inspiration for the production of a significant category of artworks during the Middle Ages, artworks aimed as much at the laity as at the clergy, and intended to maintain, symbolically, the presence of the dead. Memoria, the term that describes the formal, liturgical memory of the dead, also includes artworks intended to house and honor the deceased. This volume explores the ways in which medieval Christians sought to memorialize the deceased; with tombs, cenotaphs,altars and other furnishings connected to a real or symbolic burial site. A dozen essays analyze strategies for commemoration from the 4th to the 15th century: the means by which human memory could be activated or manipulated through the interaction between monuments, their setting, and the visitor.

Building upon, but different from, the growing body of literature on memory in the Middle Ages, the collection focuses on the tomb monument and its context as a complex to define what is to be remembered, to fix memory , and to facilitate recollection. Remembering depended upon the emotionally charged interaction between the visitor, the funerary monument, strategically placed images or inscriptions, the liturgy and its participants. Commemorative artworks may consolidate social bonds as well as individual memory, as put forth in this volume. Parallels are drawn between mnemonic devices utilized in the Middle Ages, the design of monuments and contemporary scientific research in cognitive neuropsychology.

The papers were originally presented at the 1994 meetings of the College Art Association; and the International Congresses of Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, and the University of Leeds, England, in 1995.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Twelve art historians explore the ways medieval Christians sought to memorialize the deceased: with tombs, cenotaphs, altars, and other mnemonic furnishings connected to real or symbolic burial sites. Essays analyze strategies for commemoration from the fourth to the 15th century, focusing on the means by which memory can be activated or manipulated through interaction between monuments, settings, and visitors. Sites discussed include Donatello's Pecci Tomb in Siena Cathedral, the chapel of Alvaro de Luna, the Via Latina catacombs, and the Heribert Shrine. Many good-quality b&w reproductions give a fuller picture of the different means by which the dead live on. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754600763
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Pages: 317
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

The editors
List of contributors
List of figures
List of abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
I The tomb: between the living and the dead 17
1 Souvenir, synaesthesia, and the sepulcrum Domini: sensory stimuli as memory stratagems 19
2 Lament for a lost Queen: the sarcophagus of Dona Blanca in Najera 43
3 The tomb as prompter for the chantry: four examples from Late Medieval England 81
4 Activating the effigy: Donatello's Pecci Tomb in Siena Cathedral 99
5 Commemorating a real bastard: the chapel of Alvaro de Luna 129
II Shaping communal memory 155
6 The font is a kind of grave: remembrance in the Via Latina catacombs 157
7 Memory and the social landscape in eleventh-century Upplandic commemorative practice 183
8 Stolen property: St. Mark's first Venetian tomb and the politics of communal memory 205
9 Dream images, memoria, and the Heribert Shrine 227
10 The Queen's body and institutional memory: the tomb of Adelaide of Maurienne 249
11 Monumenta et memoriae: the thirteenth-century episcopal pantheon of Leon Cathedral 269
Index 301
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