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Art of Death: Visual Culture in the English Death Ritual, C.1500-1800 Paperback – 20 Mar 1991
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'an enjoyable and interesting book' --London Review of Books
'Nigel Llewellyn's richly illustrated book is a much-welcomed study on the visual culture made to accompany the English death ritual . . . For the social and cultural historian Llewellyn's book will be a valuable contribution for the understanding of death rituals as an active mediator between life and death, engaging the living in the preparation for their own death, and preserving the social image of the dead among the living.' --Social History
'The complexity and richness of the materials awaiting the historian of death is made evident in this admirable short study of the English arts of death from 1500-1800. Nigel Llewellyn has gathered a startling array of monuments and images in a variety of media that cumulatively represent early modern culture's attitude to that ubiquitous experience of death.'
--American Historical Review
About the Author
Nigel Llewellyn is Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Sussex.
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The 101 illustrations depict many levels of a mindset strange, poignant, and more than a bit unsettling, from memorial portraits, to memento mori rings (some incorporating beautifully-formed knots of hair from the deceased), statuary, funerary objects, "dances of death" prints, funeral biscuits and invitations, and much more. Llewellyn's writing is well-organized, lucid and thought-provoking. If the book whets your appetite for more, a good bibliography is appended.
One only wishes that the format was a bit larger, so more of the often magnificent detail were clearer. The illustrations are mostly black-and-white, but a good number are in color. If you are looking for a massive change of pace in your reading, try this book!
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