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

Matthew Craske

Publicaton Date
May 2008
Standard Number
Yale University Press
256 pages

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.

About the author

  • Matthew Craske is reader in Art History at Oxford Brookes University.