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Murray Seminar: Power-Friendship-Faith. French Art in the Times of Religious Controversy in the Mid-Sixteenth Century - Christoph Brachmann

Venue: Online

No booking required

Nowadays located in the backwaters of Eastern France, the monumental Sépulcre in Saint-Mihiel is one of the most remarkable works of sixteenth-century sculpture. Crafted in ca. 1560 by the Lorraine artist Ligier Richier it is among the few artifacts of the region that have attracted art historical interest. Most scholars have interpreted it as a fragment of a much bigger project that included not only an entombment but also a crucifixion and a lamentation. It was assumed that these scenes remained unfinished because the sculptor—a Calvinist—had to flee the country for religious reasons in 1564. In contrast, this talk will reveal that the idiosyncrasies of the highly unusual program have very different reasons. With a surprisingly prominent background, it can be regarded as one of the most sophisticated works of the time, containing much more than just a religious message in the context of rising conflicts between Catholics and Protestants. Combining influences of a multitude of prominent artifacts of the period the Sépulcre becomes a key work for the understanding of important political aspects of sixteenth-century France.

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