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Title: Frightening fragments : the representation of the corpse in baroque sculpture
Authors: Deckers, Regina
Keywords: Waxworks
Death in art
Memento mori
Sculpture, Baroque
Medical education -- History
Wax figures
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of Malta. International Institute for Baroque Studies
Citation: Deckers, R. (2017). Frightening fragments - the representation of the corpse in baroque sculpture. Journal of Baroque Studies, 2(1), 79-96
Abstract: While the decay of the human corpse was represented in form of the so-called transi tomb of the Late Middle Ages, this topic thereafter was removed from the context of tomb sculpture and adapted in a smaller scale for objects of private contemplation. Other painted and sculpted examples may be found in Baroque allegories of vanity or in the main topic of the memento mori. Especially the medium of waxworks was predestined as well for the artistic as for the scientific use because of the deceptive qualities of the material which appears in horrifying dioramas – performing illness, death and decay – or in visual aids for medical education in the 17th and 18th centuries. Primarily the dimensions and the fragmentary representation of the human body reveal the determination of these works of art and thus their position between objects for private devotion or the Kunstkammer, between tomb sculpture and anatomical models and in conclusion between the ages of Baroqoue and Enlightenment.
Appears in Collections:JBS, Volume 2, No. 1 (2017)
JBS, Volume 2, No. 1 (2017)

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