Medieval funeral art reunites various types of monuments which evolve through the centuries. Since Erwin Panofsky’s seminal work on tomb sculpture in the 1960s, many comprehensive studies of the subject have been proposed. However most of these rely solely on a strict selection of examples, most of them exceptional. Because they document a vast quantity and diversity of tombs, from royal mausoleums to bare slabs, the 18th century drawings of the Gaignières collection offers the possibility to investigate, as a whole, a broader range of monuments. To do this however, the use of statistics is invaluable. This paper intends to illustrate how factor analysis can help provide a structural and relational understanding of medieval tombs. Ultimately, it wishes to provide a positive example of how quantitative and qualitative approaches can work together in art history.
Robert Marcoux, Université Laval