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Bilder från dödsbädden: En kontextualisering och funktionsstudie av två postuma barnporträtt
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 5 credits / 7,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay, Pictures from a death-bed, expands on the pictorial genre called post mortem portraits, a field with long history in the western society. A post mortem portrait is an artwork where the artist paint or photograph the model after her or his dead. My survey delineates to treat two specific pictures, one from the seventeenth century and one from the twentieth century. Both of them are portraits of dead boys on their death-beds, but the first one is a painting and the other one is a photo. By this survey I wanted to find both similarities and differentials between the pictures; if they were made by the same reasons, if you could see anything different between the portraits by children and by the portraits of adults, and finally, if there were any cultural or religious connections between the pictures and their existents. By analytics of the pictures and by studies about the chosen centuries and their societies, I’ve been trying to understand the nature of these portraits. For that reason I’ve also been studying them from different theoretical perspectives.

The essay is divided in two parts. The first part treat the death-bed portrait of Hannibal Gustav Wrangel af Salmis from 1643-45. Here I analyze the picture, where after I put it in its right context and finally I compare the portrait with two similar works from the same time. In the second part I treat the use of posthumous portraits in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. My starting point are a photo of a boy on his death-bed, taken by the Swedish photographer Nancy Burström sometime between the years 1920-25 in Bjurholm. As a way to understand the picture and its nature better, I use the same method and investigation here as I did in the primary part.

This research reveals that the images have a lot in common, for example were they made as a memorial of the deceased person, as well as an aid to the relative to use when he or she processed their grief. But there were also lot of differentials. The most important thou are that they are leftovers and historical documents from a different time of our society, and for that reason they’re more than important to study and to keep alive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 36 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-18159OAI: diva2:600976
Subject / course
Art History
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-01-28 Created: 2013-01-28 Last updated: 2013-01-28Bibliographically approved

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