[Paper:] Katja Putzer (GNM), Heraldry in Nuremberg’s Sacred Spaces: Memorial Shields of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

Putzer, Katza - Heinrich_GrundherrUntil today Nuremberg’s church interiors display a vast amount of coats of arms, which can be found, for example, on altars, windows and epitaphs endowed by the city’s most influential and wealthy inhabitants. Particularly outstanding, however, are the memorial shields hanging high on the pillars and walls. In the middle ages and early modern times they were made for the male dead of the city’s elite and hung up close to their burial places, displaying the coat of arms of the deceased, his name and the date of his death. The interdisciplinary research project “Provision for the hereafter and cooperative representation. Memorial shields from the 14th to the 17th century” is currently looking into the shields from art historical, historical and art technological perspectives. The paper will focus on some of its questions, such as the social background of the persons whose memorial shields are to be found in the churches, their presentation, and whether there were any connections between the influence or reputation of the deceased and the design of his shield. Another emphasis will be placed onto the impact of the city’s authorities: Since Nuremberg’s council supervised the city’s churches and every new display or change of coat of arms had to be approved of by the council members, there were also severe regulations concerning the memorial shields’ design and their costs.

Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Journées Héraldiques 5), Rome, 5th-7th May 2015


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