The Art of Law

Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law and Justice in Context, from the Middle Ages to the First World War

  • Stefan Huygebaert
  • Georges Martyn
  • Vanessa Paumen
  • Eric Bousmar
  • Xavier Rousseaux

Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 66)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Law, Justice and Art in Historical Perspective

  3. Moralising Law and Justice Representations in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era

  4. Lawyers and Justices: Their Books, Their Work, Their Symbols

  5. Criminal Justice: Art, Object and Locus

  6. Justice Architecture and Decorations in the Long Nineteenth Century

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 451-458

About this book


The contributions to this volume were written by historians, legal historians and art historians, each using his or her own methods and sources, but all concentrating on topics from the broad subject of historical legal iconography. How have the concepts of law and justice been represented in (public) art from the Late Middle Ages onwards? Justices and rulers had their courtrooms, but also churches, decorated with inspiring images. At first, the religious influence was enormous, but starting with the Early Modern Era, new symbols and allegories began appearing. Throughout history, art has been used to legitimise the act of judging, but artists have also satirised the law and the lawyers; architects and artisans have engaged in juridical and judicial projects and, in some criminal cases, convicts have even been sentenced to produce works of art. The book illustrates and contextualises the various interactions between law and justice on the one hand, and their artistic representations in paintings, statues, drawings, tapestries, prints and books on the other.


Iconography Iconology Law Justice Art and the Law Exempla Iustitiae Art History Legal History

Editors and affiliations

  • Stefan Huygebaert
    • 1
  • Georges Martyn
    • 2
  • Vanessa Paumen
    • 3
  • Eric Bousmar
    • 4
  • Xavier Rousseaux
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Art, Ghent Legal History Institute, FWO (Research Foundation Flanders)Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Ghent Legal History InstituteGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Flemish research centre for the arts of the Burgundian Netherlands, Musea BruggeBrugesBelgium
  4. 4.Centre de recherches en histoire du droit et des institutionsUniversité Saint-LouisBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.Centre d’histoire du droit et de la justiceUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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