Paper $24.00 ISBN: 9780948462160 Published June 1997 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Art of Death

Visual Culture in the English Death Ritual c.1500 - c.1800

Nigel Llewellyn

Art of Death
Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

Nigel Llewellyn

Distributed for Reaktion Books

160 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $24.00 ISBN: 9780948462160 Published June 1997 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $22.95 ISBN: 9781780231518 Published June 2013
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.
I. The Object of Commemoration
II. Rites of Passage
III. Dying, A Process
IV. Dances of Death
V. Examples of Virtue
VI. Death, A Bad Business
VII. Two Bodies
VIII. Body Language
IX. The Natural Body and its Fate
X. Funerals: The Declaration of Difference
XI. Heraldic Displays
XII. Funereal Paraphernalia
XIII. Liturgies
XIV. Worn Out and In
XV. Objects of Mourning
XVI. The Monumental Body
XVII. Kinds of Monument
XVIII. Image Theory
XIX. Epilogue
Select Bibliography
List of Illustrations
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