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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A must for anyone who is interested in gothic sculpture in Northern Europe
Just had the chance to visit the MET M of Art yesterday (May 12th) with a few good friends, and happily, took it. On our way to view the BELLES HEURES OF JEAN, DUKE OF BERRY, we entered the newly reworked Mediaeval Wing to see the The Mourners: Tomb Sculpture from the Court of Burgundy. Only a few have ever seen these sculptures from every angle, and standing only 3 feet from the plinth upon which they stood, was an experience even at the Met.. Words fail. The exhibit was simple one, but effectively placed the figures in such a way that we could easily see the the grain and colors of the alabaster, the sculptor's tool marks, the skillfully carved pages of a book, & could almost smell the tallow of candles long since expired. I can't afford to buy even half the catalogues of the exhibits I get the chance to see, but I bought this one.
No regrets the day after. The photography is ghostly, the printing & binding, excellent. Now I can stand still and study each figure. During...
Rare it is when a catalogue of a museum exhibition can capture the aura of the event as well as this very beautiful catalogue. Touring the country now (and currently at the Lo Angeles County Museum of Art) is a sensitively curated exhibition titled 'The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy'. It is a rather small in number collection - thirty-seven sculptures from the tomb of John the Fearless (1371-1419), the second duke of Burgundy - but the impact of the placement and the lighting of the exhibition is solemn and majestic. It is difficult to tell whether the museum followed the lighting details of the works in this comprehensive catalogue,but rest assured that if the reader doesn't have the opportunity to view the traveling exhibition, this catalogue as a book takes you into the tombs.
Sophie Jugie, director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, is the author and provides in-depth examination of the history of these rather small alabaster...
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