Choosing a Monument

Nigel Saul

in English Church Monuments in the Middle Ages

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199215980
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191710001 | DOI:
 Choosing a Monument

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Relying chiefly on the evidence of wills and contracts, this chapter examines in detail the workings of the market in funerary sculpture. It is argued that the act of ‘choosing’ translated in practice into reliance on social networks to make contact with a mason or engraver. It is suggested that what patrons chiefly looked for in a monument was ‘honesty’ of workmanship and accurate representation of symbols of status. On the evidence of a 15th-century account of the monuments in St Albans Abbey, it seems that contemporaries' aesthetic response to funerary sculpture was limited.

Keywords: commissioning; status; market; wills; contracts; networks; St Albans Abbey

Chapter.  18831 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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