MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, German
(active 1130-1135)

Tombstone of Rheinhildis

1130-35
Sandstone
Church of St Calixtus, Riesenbeck

The most important form of medieval grave is the tombstone made out of stone or bronze, which would be placed on the floor of a church covering a grave below, or onto a sarcophagus-like tomb. While early Romanesque churches and crypts were at first used exclusively to bury martyrs and saints, members of the clergy were gradually also buried there, and eventually even secular lords or the founders of the church.

The trapezoid tombstone of Reinhildis in the village church of Hörstel-Riesenbeck near Tecklenburg (North Rheine-Westphalia) was possibly originally the lid of a sarcophagus.