The Silent Rhetoric of the Body A History of Monumental Sculpture and Commemorative Art in England, 1720-1770 Matthew Craske

Publication date:
21 Feb 2008
Yale University Press
256 pages: 254 x 190mm
60 b-w illus.


This illuminating and original book is the first to examine eighteenth-century British funeral monuments in their social, as well as their artistic, context, looking not only at the sculptors who created the monuments, but also the people who commissioned them and the people they commemorated. Matthew Craske begins by analyzing the relationship of tomb designs to the changing and diverse culture of death in eighteenth-century England, and then explains conditions of production and the shifting dynamics of the market. He concludes with a masterly analysis of the motivations of the people who commissioned monuments, from aristocrats to merchants and professional people.

Matthew Craske is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at Oxford Brookes University

'Ambitious in its scope, hugely impressive in its scholarship and passionate in its advocacy for a major aspect of 18th century British art, this is a magnificent book.'
-Malcolm Baker, Art Newspaper

‘Craske’s is a remarkable book in many ways….it deserves a wide readership precisely because it lays out eighteenth-century commemorative sculpture and its official histories so comprehensively.’
-Sarah Monks, Art History