Even before the upheaval of the Revolution, France sought a new formal language for a regenerated nation. Nowhere is this clearer than in its tombs, some of which number among its most famous modern sculptures, but which are rarely discussed as funerary projects.
Unlike other art-historical studies of tombs, this book frames sculptural examples within the full spectrum of the material funerary arts of the period, along with architecture and landscape. It further widens the standard scope to shed new and needed light on the interplay of the funerary arts, tomb cult, and the mentalities that shaped them in France over a period famous for profound and often violent change. Suzanne Glover Lindsay also brings the abundant recent work on the body to the funerary arts and tomb cult for the first time, confronting cultural and aesthetic issues through her examination of a celebrated sculptural type—the recumbent effigy of the deceased in death. Using many unfamiliar period sources, this study reinterprets several famous tombs and funerals and introduces significant enterprises that are little-known today to suggest the prominence of tomb cult in 19th-century France. Images of tombs complement the text to underline sculpture's unique formal power in funerary mode.
Hardcover | 276 pages