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It is no longer shown to visitors because of the deterioration. It may no longer be possible to save the present tombstone, even through employing an expert restorer to undo this damage. Henry Savage Landor '. Today, I will focus on commemorative practice and visual imagery, exploring in depth the role and representation of the widow.
Following a survey of early modern widowhood and visual culture, primarily in sixteenth-century Florence, I discuss the nineteenth-century tomb of Arnold Savage Landor or, rather, the provocative figure of his grieving widow, Julia, who both perpetuates and complicates masculine memory in the English Cemetery. Argument and Methodology I begin with a few words about my methodology. My argument works with the premise that early modern masculinity was inherently anxious. We also have to recognize a gender politics at work, even if it frequently worked against itself. Historically, strategies of deferral or transcendence have been consciously devised as a response to what Henry Staten calls thanato-erotic anxiety — the fear, within the dialectic of mourning, not of loss of object but of loss of self.
But for all that widowhood promises — from perpetuity to transcendence — it is undermined by its very performativity and mere prevalence. A critical examination of the realities of widowhood, both during and after mourning ceremonial, reveals a marked discrepancy between the rigidity of expectation and the ambiguity of experience. The death ritual stands as a cultural mechanism designed and performed in order to reaffirm social order after a rupture in the natural order of things.
As the ritual process unfolds, social structures and hierarchies, including gender roles, are re-asserted. Thus, the culturally designated primary mourners assume the greater part of public grieving, reminding the living of their duties to the dead. Yet ritual, though certainly authoritative, is, by its very nature, artificial. As carefully scripted as ritual must be and as well concealed as the subtext of this cultural maintenance program might be, it is precisely that basic, underlying element of constructedness and the inevitability of interpretation that leads to ritual failure.
A more grave deficiency is the uncertainty of mourning after ceremonial, when supervision of the primary mourners, outside of the public sphere, proved more difficult. In other words, anxiety re-instated if ever alleviated , how will the early modern subject ensure his memory?
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That is to say, they have not explored the other side of the coin — forgetfulness. Specifically, I wish to nuance our understanding of Renaissance portraiture as something complexly generated within a discourse of male anxiety and pre-mortuary mourning. In sum, I argue that portraiture could defer memory loss or, at the very least, pictorially console the subject against his own potentially unmourned death.
Widowhood and Visual Culture Whereas recent studies of early modern widowhood by social, economic and cultural historians have called attention to the often ambiguous, yet also often empowering, experience and position of widows within society, my work considers the distinct and important relationship between widowhood and representation.
A careful and critical look at this unique and understudied correlation can offer valuable insight into the fashioning and re-fashioning of individual, family and civic identity, memory and history. In sum, I wish to demonstrate some of the ways in which critical visual analyses can nuance the socio-cultural, historic, economic and psychological frameworks in which widowhood was constructed, celebrated, censored and commemorated, allowing us to recognize and appreciate the complexity and contradiction, the iconicity and mutability, and the timelessness and timeliness of widowhood and representation.
In this mother-and-child double portrait, the husband gains immortality through both his own commemorative image referenced by the memorial medal in her left hand and that of his dutiful wife, who, via his representation, is continually reminded of her role and responsibility as his widow. Yet this same productive juxtaposition of book and portrait, word and image, demands that we read ever more carefully between the lines of visual and verbal memorial texts.
If the above example identifies the widow, or at least her didactic representation, as conforming to social demands, the next will shift the focus, revolving around the question of agency and examining the various ways in which the widow could manipulate her newly acquired social status by rejecting or circumventing the ideal models described thus far. In so doing, via public and private, contemporary and, even, posthumous imagery, she subtly, though successfully, could re-present herself.
Upon widowhood, some women occupied a new and potentially very powerful socioeconomic position, allowing for an often-monumental manner of marking memory. From managing the household to doing business outside of that domestic space, financial and administrative duties generally fell under the control of the widow. Of course, for some widows that moment was not at all short-lived, allowing for unique expressions of memory — and power.
Her effigy defines this monument, though she herself is buried elsewhere, in the Cimitero agli Allori d. Still, it is precisely her body — both absent and present in the English Cemetery — that interests me most. Thus, she becomes a replacement, a surrogate for her son. Yet such representations, while preventative to some degree, can also be interpreted as problematic.
In other words, the portrayal of the woman as widow might protect against memory loss, but her presence also complicates masculine memory insofar as widowhood presumes male absence. That is to say, the widow occupies a precarious position within the memorial discourse in that she is simultaneously representative of commemoration and of death itself. In light of this dualism, what are the repercussions of her dichotomous memorial role for an already anxious audience? If representation can be read as regulatory fiction, the overcompensatory inclusion of the male portrait would seem to guarantee commemoration — at least pictorially.
I have selected two examples from the English Cemetery: First, the tomb of Walter Kennedy Laurie, where his portrait is contained within an ourbouros on a tomb within a tomb, beside which his widow and orphan son grieve,. N Bystrom. Bystrom, contact Prof. We might start with her body language. Dramatically and traumatically, this body grieves inconsolably Figure 5 ;. Perhaps not coincidentally, she also turns her back to her husband, the poet Walter Savage Landor, who had died just seven years earlier than his son In fact, this cold marble shoulder is nothing new; the Landor family ties had long been severed, cut and divided much like the bisected cemetery itself Figure 7.
Located on the southwestern slope, or to the left of the central path, is the simple, quite un-monumental tomb slab of Walter Savage Landor — without effigy, without widow, without any mournful text at all, visual or verbal Figure 8. Remarkably, the inscription originally contained a reference to his grieving family; it was later removed.
Finally, then, those widowed words, along with his widow's suggestive body language, underscore my thesis today: that we must always read between the lines of the memorial text, no matter how blurred they may already be. John R. Spencer, rev. The Trollopes, mother and eldest son, came to live in Florence in There were three floors, three households living closely together, enjoying a large shady garden.
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To deal first with Joseph Garrow: he was born in India, the son of an English Army officer and a high-caste Brahmin lady. At 25 he married a Jewish lady, 23 years older than himself, with two children, who gave birth, reputedly at the age of 59, to Theodosia although wagging tongues suggested that Theo was in truth the illegitimate daughter of her half-sister Harriet, which may explain why she and her mother were never very intimate, although she was always very close to Harriet.
However, after initial implacable opposition, Joseph Garrow very gradually became reconciled to Thomas Adolphus marrying his daughter.
Yet having accepted this and consenting to share the Villino with the Trollope's, he never seems to have been a very cheerful person. He was the first in that household to die and be buried, with a Latin epitaph by Thomas Adolphus in the English Cemetery. Theodosia had met Thomas Adolphus in Florence in At 22, she was 15 years younger than him and her somewhat ethereal and delicate physique was very different from his hearty bluffness.
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Theo translated works by Giusti and G. Nicolini, and she also contributed a history of the Tuscan Revolution to the Athenaeum.
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By contrast to her husband, however, Theo was an implacable critic of the clergy. Here is the Villino Trollope as it appears today, together with a close-up of the plaque over the side door:. Translated from Italian into English, the plaque reads:. Theodosia had never been robust and, as the plaque records, in died, being buried in the English Cemetery, opposite the spot where her mother-in-law had been buried two years earlier. The heartbroken Thomas devised another Latin epitaph on her gravestone.
Contando anche i due ivoriani, infatti, erano in sei, e nella. E tutti sapevano, nessuno esclu- so, che non sarebbe stato un grande impiccio. Yaya aveva chie- sto a Baboucar per chi avrebbe dovuto fare da interprete in tri- bunale, ma Baboucar sapeva solo che si trattava di due senega- lesi e un gambiano, dei nomi non aveva idea.
Tutti notarono la ra- gazza, tranne Ousman.
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