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The following is a list of History of Art departmental events, events the department is co-sponsoring, and events involving History of Art faculty. Click on event title for more info.

The Embodied Object: Recensions of the Dead on Roman Sarcophagi

Jaś Elsner
Friday, April 13, 2018
4:00-5:00 PM
Room 180 Tappan Hall Map
The Roman sarcophagus uses the visual forms of consolatory celebration to frame the actual body of the deceased. Its rhetorics of eulogy are not merely performative but are directly existential, since its form and function are entirely dependent on the act of containing a corpse. In sarcophagi, the frequency of portraiture as a major element of decoration adds a further frisson to the question of embodiment. This paper touches on all forms of portraiture on Roman sarcophagi but focuses on three-dimensional reclining statues carved on lids – both fine finished portrait heads and so-called ‘unfinished’ or ‘blank’ and sometimes ‘pseudo-animate’ faces – in relation to their play with the thematic of embodiment, presence and absence.

Professor of Late Antique Art at Oxford,
Humfry Payne Senior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College
Visiting Professor of Art and Religion at the University of Chicago
Leverhulme Senior Research Keeper at the British Museum
Building: Tappan Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Art, Classical Studies, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from History of Art, Judaic Studies