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 among its most famous modern sculpture-rarely discussed as funerary projects. Unlike other art-historical studies of tombs, this one frames sculptural examples within the full spectrum of the material funerary arts of the period, along with architecture and landscape. This book 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 prominent place held by tomb cult in nineteenth-century France. Images of the tombs complement the text to underline sculpture's unique formal power in funerary mode.
Contents: Introduction: revisiting 18th- and 19th-century French tombs; Reforming funerary cult in France 1750-1870; 18th-century France: rethinking sculpture and the body; The Bonchamps project: reinventing the effigy tomb; Louis-Philippe's tombs: burying a modern royal family; The poetics of the exhumed corpse I: a tomb for Napoléon; The poetics of the exhumed corpse II: the Cavaignac tomb; Bibliography; Index.
Suzanne Glover Lindsay is Adjunct Associate Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
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