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Members' Research Report Archive

Depicting the Unforgivable Sin: Suicide in Medieval Art

Benjamin Zweig, Research Associate, 2015 – 2016


Suicide of Judas, from Psalter and Book of Hours, northeastern France (probably Arras), last quarter of the thirteenth century, MS. M.730, f. 14v The Pierpont Morgan Library / Art Resource, NY

My primary research project continues to examine the representation of suicide in medieval visual culture. Last summer I discovered an unpublished thirteenth-century illuminated manuscript in the British Library that copies the facade sculpture of the cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris; it will form the basis of an article. I am also preparing two contracted articles for essay collections, one on the travels of Saint Birgitta of Sweden and one on the concept of perfectio in medieval aesthetic philosophy. In March I presented a paper on ambiguous data and historical GIS at the annual conference of the Association of American Geographers.