Timor mortis conturbat me: death, commemoration and visual culture in the late Middle Ages

(class leader: Dr Catherine Oakes)

This class will explore the visual manifestations of late medieval practices connected with death and negotiating the afterlife, through devices such as chantries, the cult of saints, good works, and methods of commemoration in general.  This will lead us to explore the design of chantry chapels, shrines, reliquaries, and tombs as well as noting the ways in which benefactors tried to ensure they were not forgotten. We will take every opportunity to use resources in Oxford such as William Wykeham’s foundation at New College, the cult of Frideswide in the Augustinian abbey church which is now Oxford cathedral, and illuminations accompanying the Office of the Dead in some of the Bodleian’s extensive collection of medieval Primers or Books of Hours.