Medieval Grave Frescoes in the Southern Netherlands and Brugge
Williams, C. L.
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Written to accompany a longer study, this short paper firstly highlights the uniqueness of medieval grave wall paintings in the south of The Netherlands and Brugge, Belgium; and secondly suggests mostly preventative conservation methods to aid the ongoing protection of these frescoes. Though graves are scattered, this study focuses on graves from three nearby but very different locations, Brugge, Aardenburg, and Middelburg. Graves share stylistic and motif similarities that result in the need for scholars to group these graves together as a type, in a way that was not done previously, as one by one the graves were accidentally found since the 1950s. Despite how these graves have been subjected to drastically different environments in previous decades, the problem of their conservation needs to be addressed using co-operation between the various regions rather than individually. The Saint Salvator Church in Brugge has already taken action recently, securing protection for the four painted graves with regulated air-conditioning under air-tight glass floor displays. The time is right to encourage appropriate action for other comparable graves nearby.
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