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A Magnificent FaithArt and Identity in Lutheran Germany$
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Bridget Heal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737575.001.0001

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Visual Commemoration

Visual Commemoration

(p.158) 6 Visual Commemoration
A Magnificent Faith

Bridget Heal

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 investigates images’ importance for Lutheran commemorative culture. It opens with a discussion of images produced for the Reformation centennials of 1617 and 1630, but focuses most of its attention on the commemoration of the dead, on the epitaphs and other memorial images produced for Lutheran patrons. These offer, it argues, a much richer insight into the diverse nature of Lutheran commemorative culture. The chapter presents two case studies of commemorative patronage amongst the Saxon nobility. It also investigates transformations in visual commemoration at a lower social level, focusing on the miners’ guilds in Saxony’s Erzgebirge. These examples modify our understanding of the function of Lutheran commemorative art, demonstrating that it fulfilled not only political but also emotional needs. They also help to explain the survival and restoration of medieval images that did not reflect Lutheran teaching.

Keywords:   Memory studies, Reformation anniversaries, commemoration of the dead, epitaphs, Saxon nobility, dynasty, Meissen, Lutheran guilds, medievalism

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