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.
'This is a meticulously researched, consistently insightful book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the life of the dead, and the objects that accompanied them, in nineteenth-century France.' French History
'… this well-researched, thoughtful book contributes to our understanding of the gisant figure’s intriguing if limited revival, and to ongoing reflections about commemorative practices, sculpture in particular, the workings of historical memory, and the place of the dead in modern France.' French Studies
'Funerary Arts and Tomb Cult is superbly researched and clearly articulated, providing a synthesis of perspectives concerning funerary arts, tomb cult, and the mentalities that shaped them in France. Moreover, the importance of the body as it relates to funerary arts and tomb cult is brought to the forefront for the first time through Lindsay’s thematic investigation of the recumbent effigy. Important and thought-provoking, the book is a very welcomed addition to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art-historical studies.' CAA Reviews
'… a well-researched, rewarding and ultimately fasinating work.' Church Monument
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.