The Art of Death - HI789

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR E Guerry







This module explores the place of death within late medieval English culture, focusing especially on the visual evidence of tombs, architecture, and illuminated manuscripts. It will begin by examining how ideas about death and the dead were expressed in works of art before the arrival of the Black Death to England in 1348. We will then explore the ways in which funerary sculpture, architecture and painting changed after, and perhaps because of, the devastation of the plague. These sources will be set within the context of literary, documentary and liturgical evidence. Further, it will explore how historians approach the history of death from different disciplinary perspectives, and consider the place of visual evidence within a range of sources and methods.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

3 hours per week

Indicative reading

BINSKI, P - Medieval Death: Ritual and Representation, London, 1996
HARVEY, B - Living and dying in England, 1100—1540: the monastic experience, Oxford, 1993
MORGANSTEN, A. M. - Gothic tombs of kinship in France, the Low Countries, and England, University Park, Pa., 2000
SAUL, N - Death, Art, and Memory in Medieval England: The Cobham Family and their Monuments, 1300-1500, Oxford, 2001
PLATT, C - King Death: the Black Death and its aftermath in late-medieval England, London, 1996
D’AVRAY, D. L. - Death and the Prince: Memorial Preaching before 1350, Oxford, 1994

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

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