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Members' Research Report Archive

Unforgivable Sin: Suicide in Medieval Art

Benjamin Zweig, Research Associate, 2014 – 2015


Suicide of Pyramus and Thisbe, detail from an ivory casket. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Scala / Art Resource, NY

This year my research focused on the representation of suicide in late antique and medieval visual and intellectual culture. Expanding on my dissertation (Boston University, 2014), I am examining the iconography of suicide in sculpture and illuminated manuscripts in relation to theological discourses and ritual, the reception of antiquity, courtly love, and medieval theories of emotions. I also continued my work in the digital humanities and research on the art of the medieval Baltic. I published two articles on digital art history, one as single author and one as coauthor, and a book review, and I presented papers in Cortona, Italy, and Reykjavík, Iceland.