Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy
March 2–May 23, 2010
The renovation of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon provides an opportunity for the unprecedented loan of the alabaster mourner figures from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria. Each of the statuettes is approximately sixteen inches high. They were carved by Jean de La Huerta and Antoine Le Moiturier between 1443–1456 for the ducal tomb originally in the church of Champmol, and they follow the precedent of the mourner figures carved by Claus Sluter and colleagues for the tomb of Duke Philip the Bold (1342–1404). The tombs are celebrated as among the most sumptuous and innovative of the late Middle Ages. The primary innovation was the space given to the figures of the grieving mourners on the base of the tomb, who seem to pass through the real arcades of a cloister.
The installation at the Metropolitan is supplemented by related works from the Museum's collection, including the monumental Enthroned Virgin from the convent at Poligny (established by John the Fearless and Margaret of Bavaria) that was carved by Claus de Werve.