FUNERAL MONUMENTS AND
THE history of English sculpture between 1553 and 1625 is inseparable from a history of fashions in funeral monuments, upon which most of the sculptural effort of the period was expended. Those fashions determined and very severely restricted both the subject-matter and the style of the sculptors and bound them nearly as tightly as the easel-painters. They were, however, somewhat freer than their fellow craftsmen because they enjoyed the patronage of many classes besides the courtiers, and in consequence were not limited to the expression of 'Statist' ways of thought and the adornment of massive architectural tombs. They were often called upon to express the less restricted feelings of minor men and this presented them with problems that forced them to develop their art to a point from which--when the virtuosi appeared--it could go farther, eliminate architecture from funeral monuments, and turn them into independent works of sculpture.
The social and religious changes of the early sixteenth century had a twofold effect upon native sculpture. They destroyed the wealth and influence of the medieval Church, and thereby the widest market and deepest inspiration of the medieval sculptor, at the same time as they created new classes of wealthy but individually powerless landed proprietors with a more or less Protestant ideology. The religious feeling of these new men could not be expressed in the old way, in erecting or adorning churches; within a church it could reveal itself upon little but their tombs, and since, while not equating wealth with worth, they tended to regard the former as an outward sign of the latter, they made these display their rank and station. To be impressive they needed to be large, for the trade-nature of tomb-making at the time, carried out by men all at much the same level of skill and with the same lack of