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dc.contributor.advisorCollard, Judith
dc.contributor.authorStevens, Elaine
dc.identifier.citationStevens, E. (2016). ‘For He has comforted my grief with His sweetness’: Painted Tears, Spirituality and the Art of Medieval Northern Europe (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractFrom the late Middle Ages, over the long fifteenth century, the appearance of grief shown through tears, gesticulation and bodily postures was a subtle and nuanced element in religious art. This thesis explores the depiction of tears in artworks relating to the Crucifixion of Christ during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in northern Europe. By drawing on a scope of panel paintings (both public altarpieces and private diptychs), print media, and illuminations I shall firstly explore, in greater depth than has been previously acknowledged by scholars, the presence of tears as a signifier of emotion, particularly grief, in the visual art of northern Europe in the late medieval period. Second, I shall argue that this emotional part to medieval artworks was part of a larger conversation occurring during this time period. Such a conversation involved a greater-than-seen-before interface between medieval spirituality and medieval understandings of emotion. I ask whether there were there reasons for this in the medieval socio-cultural and religious context. I would argue that the presence of tears in medieval religious art is part of a broader context in which weeping transcends the physical signifier of tears into a personal response of a devotee.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.title“For He has comforted my grief with His sweetness”: Painted Tears, Spirituality and the Art of Medieval Northern Europe
dc.language.rfc3066en and Art History of Arts of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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