|Abstract (english)|| |
Tomb monuments represent a specific branch of sculptural art in which secular and religious content intertwine. With their inscriptions and visual imagery, they fulfil a threefold function: they keep the memory of the deceased (commemorative function), display the deceased person's social status (representative function), and reflect the contemporary belief in salvation and resurrection of the soul (eschatological function). Tombs represent an important segment of the early-modern-period sculptural production in continental Croatia, especially that of the 15th and 16th centuries. So far, researchers have mostly dealt with the topic in a positivist manner, listing the monuments topographically and describing their appearance, devoting greater attention only to the most representative examples. This study aims to provide a more synoptic approach to tombs as a sculptural task that will include: monuments' stylistic, iconographic, and comparative analysis; the context of their commission and production; possible visual and iconological sources and models; and the influence of contemporary visual media on monuments' stylistic and formal development. The study comprises tomb monuments that were erected in the historical Diocese of Zagreb from the 15th to the 18th century, but only those that contain at least one figural motif. Throughout centuries, tombs were frequently removed from church interiors, mostly because of (re)constructions and renovations. Consequently, an unknown number of them has been lost. In an attempt to reconstruct the original corpus to the greatest extent possible, the study includes monuments that have not been preserved but whose appearance has been documented in written and/or visual sources. In the corpus analysis, art-historical (close examination; physical description; stylistic, iconographic, and comparative analysis) and historical methods (archival research) have been used with the goal of contextualising and assessing the monuments within the framework of Croatian and Central European earlymodern-period sculptural art. The borders of the historical Diocese of Zagreb changed greatly throughout the early modern period, mainly because of the war against the Ottoman Empire. The study covers the area that the diocese occupied at the end of the 18th century, which is the territory of the present-day Metropolitan Archdiocese of Zagreb and the Diocese of Poņega (today part of the Archdiocese of Đakovo-Osijek). The largest number of tomb monuments has been preserved in Prigorje and Hrvatsko Zagorje, an area that falls within the borders of »remnants of the once great and renowned Kingdom of Croatia« (Latin reliquiae reliquiarum olim magni et inclyti regni Croatiae), which remained under the jurisdiction of the Croatian-Slavonian Parliament during the Ottoman conquests. A smaller number of monuments has been preserved in Podravina, Moslavina, Banovina, and western Slavonia. The reason for this lies in the Ottoman invasion that began in the late 15th century and its consequences. Primarily, in the areas that were under Ottoman rule (western Slavonia, south-western Moslavina, and Banovina), an unknown number of tombs has been lost due to the demolition and conversion of Roman-Catholic churches as well as the Islamic aniconic approach to art. Furthermore, the area along the border with the Ottoman Empire was gradually organised into the Military Frontier, a buffer zone that originally served to repel Ottoman attacks but was eventually transformed into a Habsburg military province. The smallest number of monuments dates from the 15th century (seven preserved, three documented), which can be attributed to the Ottoman military invasion that began in the second half of the century and the aforementioned renovation of church interiors. Their numbers doubled in the 16 th century (sixteen preserved, four documented), regardless of the fact that the fifteen hundreds were burdened by warfare, demographic decline, and economic recession. It seems that the imminent Ottoman threat and general insecurity of life acted as an incentive for people to erect tombs, which served as the last material testimony of their earthly life. The largest number of monuments dates from the 17th century (thirty-eight preserved, one documented). During this period the Croatian Kingdom began to gradually recover economically and politically, which had a positive effect on artistic production. Despite the general social and economic upward trajectory, the number of erected monuments began to decline in the seventeen hundreds (fifteen preserved, one documented). This was most likely due to continuous attempts to end the practice of burials inside churches and to open up new, public cemeteries outside of towns and settlements for health and safety reasons. In the historical Diocese of Zagreb, two types of tomb monuments have been preserved—tomb slabs and epitaphs. Tomb slabs (French dalle funéraire, German Grabplatte, Italian lastra tombale) are laid on the floor and cover an individual grave or the entrance to a crypt. Consequently, they are rectangular in shape and usually coffin-sized. Epitaphs (French monument funéraire plaqué, German Epitaph, Italian epitaffio), on the other hand, are embedded in the wall. As they are not so closely connected with the burial lot, they vary in size and shape. Based on the visual motifs they contain, the tomb slabs and epitaphs found in the (Arch)diocese of Zagreb can be divided into three following categories: I) tombs with an effigy of the deceased, II) tombs with a family coat of arms, and III) tombs with funerary motifs. In the first group, the figure of the deceased is employed in two ways. It is either used as an independent, main figural motif or it is incorporated into a more complex composition as a figure kneeling in prayer before Christ on the cross. Tombs that include only the effigy of the deceased were used in the diocese throughout the whole early modern period, prevailing as the dominant form of tomb sculpture in the 15th and 16th centuries. Drawing on the medieval tradition, the early monuments showed the deceased as recumbent figures (French gisant), with their heads resting against a pillow and hands folded in prayer. They represented the blessed dead who awaited resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ. In the 16th century, the figures of the deceased began to assume a more life-like appearance. Positioned in contrapposto and one arm akimbo, they resembled more the living than the dead. This change was reinforced in the 17th century with the introduction of epitaph as the new type of tomb monument that was placed vertically in the church wall. The way the deceased were depicted on tomb slabs was more or less copied and transferred onto epitaphs. Although the representation au vif—which often drew its inspiration from contemporary portraiture— became predominant, the motif of gisant continued to be used until the end of the 17th century. Monuments with the solitary effigy of the deceased were predominately commissioned for church dignitaries and noblemen. The former were shown in liturgical garments, and the latter in full-body armour. Only several examples of effigies erected for women have been preserved or documented in historical sources. An even greater rarity represent two slabs that carry the gisant of a child, as children were usually buried in family crypts and did not have monuments of their own. The first tomb monument preserved in the historical Diocese of Zagreb that contains the image of the deceased kneeling and praying before Christ on the cross dates from the mid16th century. Such depictions were employed until the beginning of the 18th century and can be found on epitaphs erected in the memory of members of the nobility. Compositionally, they contain the en-face figure of the crucified Christ, who is flanked by the kneeling figure of the deceased (French prians) shown in half-profile or three-quarter view. The deceased are sometimes accompanied by their loved ones, namely their spouses and children. In such cases, the figures are always shown in accordance with the hierarchical perspective: men are positioned to the right, and women to the left of Christ. The image of the deceased kneeling before a sacred person has its origin in votive paintings, with which the faithful offered to fulfil a vow they had made or express their gratitude for a favour they had already been granted. The depiction of Christ crucified on the cross—who died for people's sins and then rose from the dead—symbolizes the deceaseds' faith in spiritual deliverance and the salvation of their soul. Heraldic tombs, which comprise the second major group in the corpus, were used in the Zagreb (Arch)diocese throughout the whole early modern period. They contain a family coat of arms and an inscription, which initially ran along the monuments' edges but was later inscribed in blocks above and/or below the family arms. During the sixteen and especially the seventeen hundreds, the inscriptions became so extensive that they occupied most of the monuments' surface. Coats of arms also became more complex in design with time. Those dating from the 15th and 16th centuries comprised only an escutcheon (shield) carrying the family emblem, out of which some were adorned with a helmet, crest, and mantling. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century coats of arms were more decorated and always included heraldic achievements such as the helmet, mantling, crown (coronet), crest and sometimes supporters and a motto. At the beginning of the 17th century, a new type of heraldic tombs appeared under the influence of contemporary architecture—epitaphs shaped as an aedicule. In the historical Diocese of Zagreb, heraldic tomb monuments were erected primarily for male members of the nobility and secondarily for clergymen (bishops and canons). By choosing the coat of arms as the main visual motif, the commissioners wanted to stress that they belonged to a particular family, which was the nucleus of the early-modern-period society. As coats of arms could be received only by people of noble birth, heraldic tomb monuments also served as proof of the deceased person's social status. The last group in the corpus consists of tomb slabs and epitaphs that carry funerary motifs. It should be noted that such motifs were often employed on monuments from two previously described groups—those that contain the effigy of the deceased and family coat of arms—but only as accompanying iconographic elements. The most common motifs that appear in the historical Diocese of Zagreb are the human skull, skeleton, and hourglass. They symbolised the transcience of time and the inevitability of death, serving as a warning to the observer to take heed not of their earthly possessions but of the thing that mattered the most— their soul. As a general rule, tomb monuments were erected by immediate family members— spouses, children, and siblings—after the death of a loved one. In rare cases were they commissioned by members of the extended family, such as nephews or in-laws. It was mostly in situations when the deceased did not have a family of their own, either because of their service (ecclesiastical or military) or as a turn of life events. In only exceptional cases were monuments erected by people who were not blood-related to the deceased, but were bound by friendship and/or partnership ties. The deceased sometimes paid for the erection of tombs themselves already during their lifetime. It was to spare their descendants of the obligation and to ensure that their grave would be marked with a monument, especially one to their liking. When ordering a monument, commissioners turned to both local and foreign craftsmen. Only four artists whose works have been preserved or documented in the diocese are known by name. They are Johannes Fiorentinus (workshop active c. 1495 – c. 1525), Adriaen van Conflans (Brussels, 1535 – Amsterdam, 1607), Ivan Komersteiner (?, mid-17th century – Zagreb, 1694/95), and Josip Buk (?, first half of the 18th century – ?). Fiorentinus and Buk signed their work, whereas the authorship of Conflans and Komersteiner are known from archival sources. The latter two were considered to be prominent artists in their respective fields—Conflans as a portrait painter at the Viennese court, and Komersteiner as the leading early-Baroque sculptor in continental Croatia. Naturally, not all clients could afford the best craftsmen. Quite the contrary, most of the tomb monuments preserved in the observed area were executed by sculptors of more modest skill. Using comparative analysis, some tombs have been attributed to workshops active in present-day Slovenia, which developed their distinctive style, but whose masters have remained unknown by name. Form and content-wise, tomb sculpture is marked by conventions and tradition. The typology, compositional solutions, and iconography of early-modern-period monuments were derived from their medieval counterparts, and they continued to be used with very few alterations throughout the period. However, the monuments do show stylistic changes, which were in line with the ones emerging and forming in the visual art and architecture of continental Croatia. These changes—noticeable in the way volume is shaped, different treatment of the surface, the interplay between light and shade, choice of ornament, use of different materials, and so on—did not appear as a unified and solidified stylistic formation, but rather as an influx of separate individual features, which could be accepted without disrupting the dignity and solemnity tomb monuments needed to possess. Monuments preserved in the diocese that date from the 15th century still show a great influence of the lateGothic style. The Renaissance began to spread only at the end of the century and held its sway throughout the fifteen hundreds. The 17th century was marked by a stylistic pluralism in which the characteristic of the late Renaissance, Mannerism, and early Baroque intertwined, sometimes even on a single monument. Although the first signs of Baroque appeared in the first half of the 17th century, it did not establish itself as the dominant style until the turn of the century. The study also shortly discusses early-modern-period family chapels that were used for burials as well as the funeral ceremonies that followed the death of an individual. Family chapels were erected by the members of the nobility next to the parish churches over which they had patronage or next to the churches of monastic orders, such as the Paulines, Franciscans, and Jesuits. Since they were separated from the rest of the churches' interior, the chapels provided a more intimate space for personal prayer and contemplation, but they also served to preserve and perpetuate the family's memory as they were decorated with familial insignia and coats of arms. Most of the chapels in the diocese were rectangular in plan, with only a few centrally planned. In the second half of the 18th century, the chapels seized to be built as part of churches and were erected as independent, free-standing mausolea. Funeral ceremonies had a similar function as tomb monuments. On the one hand, their liturgical part was to ensure that the deceased was cleansed from their sins and admitted to the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, they provided an opportunity for the family to laud and glorify the family member they had lost, contributing and improving their own status in the process. Obsequies comprised a wide range of activities, which included: preparation of the deceased person's body for the funeral, vigil over and mourning of the deceased, solemn procession to the place of burial, service for the deceased, funeral speech, and the burial of the body. Churches at which burials took place were richly decorated for the occasion. Their walls were covered in dark cloth, against which were attached insignia and coats of arms, while their interior was illuminated by numerous burning torches and candles. The centrepiece of the funeral apparati was the catafalque, a raised bier used to support the coffin with the body of the deceased, which was placed in the central nave. Catafalques raised for illustrious people, such as state or church dignitaries, were elaborate and highly decorated constructions that resembled a ciborium or tempietto and were known as castra doloris (Latin »castles of grief«). As all of the devices used in the ceremonies were ephemeral, the proof of their existence and use can be found mainly in written and visual sources, namely contemporary descriptions and engravings. In conclusion, the corpus of early-modern-period tomb monuments preserved in the historical Diocese of Zagreb represents a heterogeneous group, the constituents of which vary in morphological complexity and quality of workmanship. The tombs' quality depended on the commissioners' financial status and their wishes, directly influencing various aspects of the erected monument, such as its material, size, compositional complexity, and craftsmanship. For commissioners who had limited funds, it was more important to mark the burial place of the deceased person and to maintain their memory than to create top-quality works of art. However, the clients who belonged to the highest social strata tried to follow contemporary cultural and stylistic trends—in which they mainly succeeded—and the monuments they had erected can be counted among the most successful works of earlymodern-period sculpture in the historic Diocese of Zagreb.