Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Art and Design
This essay is an exploration of the medium of beeswax throughout Western art history from antiquity to the Baroque period that explores how it has consistently been used to illustrate death, decay, and violence. Examples range from funerary effigies to magical poppets to anatomical models, each displaying how the substance of wax is inherently tied to corporeality and mortality. Each example is chosen to demonstrate how either the visual appearance or the tactile properties of wax influence its use in corporeal sculpture, culminating in the work of Gaetano Giulio Zumbo to illustrate a union of the two.
Kirkpatrick, Mary, "Wax and Mortality: A Transhistorical Study on Wax in Artistic Depictions of Death." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2022.
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