The Body Recast and Revived: Figural Tomb Sculpture in the Holy Roman Empire, 1080-1160


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


History of Art and Architecture


By the end of the thirteenth century, the figural tomb effigy would emerge as a dominant representational mode for memorial sculpture in European art. Yet in the period 1080-1160, when the earliest examples of this type appear in the Holy Roman Empire, such objects are exceedingly rare, reserved for figures of exceptional significance for their local communities. This dissertation examines the rise of figural effigies during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, considering the surviving corpus of these unusual objects in the larger historical context of the political and theological climate that produced them. As points of contact between sacred and secular art, these sculptures provide a unique set of insights into the body, its status, and its representation during the Middle Ages.