Art of Death: Visual Culture in the English Death Ritual C.1500 - C.1800
How did our ancestors die? Whereas in our own day the subject of death is usually avoided, in pre-Industrial England the rituals and processes of death were present and immediate. People not only surrounded themselves with memento mori, they also sought to keep alive memories of those who had gone before. This continual confrontation with death was enhanced by a rich culture of visual artifacts. In The Art of Death, Nigel Llewellyn explores the meanings behind an astonishing range of these artifacts, and describes the attitudes and practices which lay behind their production and use.
Illustrated and explained in this book are an array of little-known objects and images such as death's head spoons, jewels and swords, mourning-rings and fans, wax effigies, church monuments, Dance of Death prints, funeral invitations and ephemera, as well as works by well-known artists, including Holbein, Hogarth and Blake.
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alabaster and imported Albert Museum artefacts artists aspects auto-icons body at death brass burial church Church Monuments coffin colour commemorative art complex contemporary corpse costume Dance of Death dead deceased decoration didactic displayed dying effigies eighteenth century English death ritual engraved Epiphanius Evesham etching example figures funeral monuments Henry heraldic heraldry Hereford and Worcester Hogarth Holbein's iconography illus illustrated imported marbles inscription John Judd Marriage kind King living London Louis-Francois Roubiliac Marco Ricci material Maximilian Colt medieval memento mori memorial monumental body mortality motif natural body objects oil on canvas panel patron picture post-Reformation England produced rank Reformation Richard Ruth Richardson scene sculpture seventeenth century signified skull social body Society stone symbols theme theory Thomas Rowlandson Thomas Stothard tomb tomb-makers tradition Unton Victoria & Albert virtue visual culture visual signs wife William Hogarth woodcuts Wyseman monument