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Author: Donna L. Sadler
In Touching the Passion — Seeing Late Medieval Altarpieces through the Eyes of Faith, Donna Sadler explores the manner in which worshipers responded to the carved and polychromed retables adorning the altars of their parish churches. Framed by the symbolic death of Christ re-enacted during the Mass, the historical account of the Passion on the retable situated Christ’s suffering and triumph over death in the present. The dramatic gestures, contemporary garb, and wealth of anecdotal detail on the altarpiece, invited the viewer’s absorption in the narrative. As in the Imitatio Christi, the worshiper imaginatively projected himself into the story like a child before a dollhouse. The five senses, the sculptural medium, the small scale, and the rhetoric of memory foster this immersion.
Author: Donna L. Sadler
Grief binds the worshipers together in an adagio of sorrow as they encounter the sculptural representation of the Entombment of Christ. Located in funerary chapels, parish churches, cemeteries, and hospitals, these works embody the piety of the later Middle Ages. In this book, Donna Sadler examines the sculptural Entombments from Burgundy and Champagne through a variety of lenses, including performance theory, embodied perception, and the invocation of the absent presence of the Holy Sepulcher. The author demonstrates how the action of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus entombing Christ in the presence of the Marys and John operates in a commemorative and collective fashion: the worshiper enters the realm of the holy and becomes a participant in the biblical event.
Author: Donna L. Sadler

Abstract

Before the dog took his position beside the ruler in the Renaissance portrait, he found himself depicted below the king’s feet in the tomb sculpture of the Middle Ages. The presence of a small breed beneath the feet of the queen was commonly associated with hearth and home, a symbol of domestic bliss. However, this formula broke down when the same dog curled up beneath the king’s feet instead of the manly hunting dog that should have, according to this logic, been found there. Indeed, dogs in medieval royal tombs seem to warm the feet (and hearts) of their masters, a role they fulfilled in life and art.

This essay examines dogs on the tomb monuments in Saint-Denis for further signs of the “anatomy of fidelity” in the canine domain. Do the dogs beneath queens behave differently than those beneath kings? Do royal offspring warrant a different breed of dog? Does the gender of the dog matter? How do the dogs in Westminster behave? Do the dogs beneath royal effigies distinguish themselves from other aristocratic tombs that feature canines? When the Valois dukes chose lions instead of dogs, was the choice based purely on animal symbolism?

The royal tombs at Saint-Denis have been studied from a political, ecclesiastical, and historical perspective. However, the royal dogs slumber beneath the feet of kings and queens. Classification of these canines increases knowledge of the tombs they enliven with their presence and the rulers they obeyed.

In: Our Dogs, Our Selves
In: Stone, Flesh, Spirit: The Entombment of Christ in Late Medieval Burgundy and Champagne
In: Stone, Flesh, Spirit: The Entombment of Christ in Late Medieval Burgundy and Champagne
In: Stone, Flesh, Spirit: The Entombment of Christ in Late Medieval Burgundy and Champagne