School of Jean Goujon (French, ca. 1510–ca. 1565)
Marble with traces of gilding; 43 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (109.9 x 62.2 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1929 (29.56)
This relief, which probably served as an altar frontal, portrays Saint John receiving the body of Christ from Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. On the right is a distant view of Jerusalem. In the lower corners are the arms of the original patron surmounted by crozier heads. He was possibly Claude de Saint-André, bishop of Carcassone, or Jean de Saint-André, a canon of Notre-Dame in Paris.
The style is markedly indebted to the great Jean Goujon, sculptor of the Fountain of the Holy Innocents in Paris and a specialist in sinuous drapery effects in relief. His influence is especially visible in the plangent rhythms of the aggrieved Marys gathered at the foot of the cross.