De doodsslaapmetafoor in de Groninger grafkunst | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 68, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268


The image of death as sleep seems to be of all times and places. While its origins go back to the pre-Christian period, it is still present in many modern obituaries. It lived on even in the Calvinist tradition, despite the fierce objections which Calvin himself made against it. Its attractiveness no doubt lies in its portrayal of death as a temporary state rather than something irreversible. This article analyses how this idea has been expressed in words and images found on Protestant tombs and grave slabs in the Dutch province of Groningen from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. These monuments show how the sleeping dead developed into a general idea and indeed a formula which followed its own dynamics, independent of doctrine. The precise connection between body and soul often remains indefinite.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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