Sculptural Plague Votives: Creating a Form of Protection Against the Disease

Gabrielle Polott


This thesis examines how plague votives played a pivotal role in helping people cope with the epidemiological crisis known as the Black Death. With medical science powerless, people turned to religion for answers and support. This was expressed through devotion and prayers to sacred beings who might intercede on their behalf and save them. To facilitate these pleas, a new art form in various media was developed that contained plague related themes and previously existing religious subjects and motifs concerning death.