Douglas Brine, Trinity University, San Antonio
Wall-mounted memorials (or ‘epitaphs’) enjoyed great popularity across the Burgundian Netherlands. Usually installed in churches above graves, they combine images with inscriptions and take the form of sculpted reliefs, brass plaques, or panel paintings. They preserved the memory of the dead and reminded the living to pray for their souls. On occasions, renowned artists like Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden were closely involved in memorials’ creation.
In Pious Memories Douglas Brine examines the wall-mounted memorial as a distinct category of funerary monument and shows it to be a significant, if overlooked, aspect of fifteenth-century Netherlandish art. The patronage, functions, and meanings of these objects are considered in the context of contemporary commemorative practices and the culture of memoria.
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Brine received the 2015 Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize, for an earlier version of Chapter 5 of Pious Memories, his article, “Jan van Eyck, Canon Joris van der Paele, and the Art of Commemoration,” published in the September 2014 issue of The Art Bulletin.