History of Art and Architecture

Shirin Fozi Lecture


Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Romanesque Effigies and the Shaping of Medieval Memory

Shirin Fozi, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Art History and Medieval Studies, Northwestern University

Tomb effigies have long formed a cornerstone of the modern study of Gothic and Renaissance art; it is well known that they were popular across western Europe during the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries, and attracted a broad spectrum of patrons and artists.  The origins of the effigy format, however, have been very nearly overlooked in the past century: while a few of the rare, early Romanesque effigies are known to specialists in the field, a comprehensive study of the rise of this sculptural type in the eleventh and early twelfth centuries has yet to be published.  This talk introduces a few key monuments from the formative period of the figural tomb effigy, and proposes that these Romanesque effigies were distinct from their Gothic and Renaissance counterparts not only in form, but also in function.