The Mourners: Tomb Sculpture from the Court of Burgundy
by Sophie Jugie
During the late Middle Ages, the dukes of Burgundy--the wealthiest and most powerful aristocrats in northern Europe--commissioned sculptors of great ... Show synopsis During the late Middle Ages, the dukes of Burgundy--the wealthiest and most powerful aristocrats in northern Europe--commissioned sculptors of great renown to decorate their magnificent court in Dijon. Working in a studio presided over by Claus Sluter, these sculptors created monuments for the ducal family that rivaled contemporary Italian works. This stunning book provides an in-depth study of the twin summits of the achievement of these artists--sculptures from the tombs of Philip the Bold (1342-1404) and his son, John the Fearless (1371-1419). These extraordinary marble and alabaster tombs serve as platforms for the ducal figures, who rest atop fully carved arcades. Within the spaces of the arcades, the artists carved individual monks in procession. Just over two feet high, each monk is a miniature embodiment of late medieval devotion. Shown in various states of mourning, they move in perpetual procession beneath the marble bodies of their rulers. Accompanying the first major traveling exhibition of these recently restored sculptures, "The Mourners" illuminates the artistic sophistication and craftsmanship of these works.