Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Mourner

Artist:
Étienne Bobillet (Franco-Netherlandish, active Bourges, 1453)
Artist:
Paul Mosselman (Franco-Netherlandish, active Bourges, 1453)
Date:
ca. 1453
Geography:
Made in Bourges, Berry, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Alabaster with traces of gilding
Dimensions:
Overall: 15 3/16 x 5 7/16 x 3 5/8 in. (38.6 x 13.8 x 9.2 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Stone
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.389
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
The tomb at Bourges of Jean, duc de Berry (1340-1416), was begun by Jean de Cambrai and completed by Étienne Bobillet and Paul de Mosselman. For the duke's tomb, his life-size portrait-effigy was placed on top of a sarcophagus, with figures of mourners rendered in high relief along its sides. The idea of surrounding the tomb with such figures most likely derived from an early-thirteenth-century custom of attaching tokens of sorrowful remembrance of the deceased to his sarcophagus. Here the figures may represent specific members of the duke's family. The faces of the mourners are hidden by deep hoods, and their bodies are engulfed by the voluminous cloaks so typical of Burgundian sculpture. The duke's tomb was vandalized during the French Revolution, and the mourner figures were destroyed or dispersed. Of the original forty statuettes, only twenty-five survive, including this impressive example.

One of two mourner figures in the collection. See also 17.190.386.
From the tomb of Jean, duc de Berry (1340-1416), choir of Sainte-Chapelle, Bourges (until 1757); vicomte de Fussy ; Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
Vitry, Paul. "Les collections Pierpont Morgan." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 11, no. 683 (1914).

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. pp. 83, 129, fig. 45, ill. p. 83.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. pp. 83, 129, fig. 45, ill. p. 83.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. fig. 55.

Les pleurants dans l'art du Moyen âge en Europe. Dijon: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, 1971. no. 12–13, p. 36, pl. XXXII.

Beeson, Nora B., ed. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. no. 49, p. 221.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 42, p. 355.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 132, pp. 144-145.

Pushkin Museum and State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-Prikladnoe Iskusstvo ot Pozdnei Antichnosti do Pozdnei Gotiki: Kratkii Katalog Vystavki. Moscow: Pushkin Museum, 1990. no. 62, p. 13.

State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-Prikladnoe Iskusstvo ot Pozdnei Antichnosti do Pozdnei Gotiki. St. Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum, 1990. no. 62, pp. 130-131.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 43, p. 389.

Cleveland Museum of Art and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. L'art à la cour de Bourgogne: le mécénat de Philippe le Hardi et de Jean sans Peur (1364-1419), edited by Stephen Fliegel, and Sophie Jugie. Paris: Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2004. no. 95, pp. 255-256.

Cleveland Museum of Art and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. Art from the Court of Burgundy: The Patronage of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless 1364-1419, edited by Stephen Fliegel, and Sophie Jugie. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2004. no. 95, pp. 255-256.

Husband, Timothy B. The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. New York ; New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008. p. 14, fig. 9.

Krohn, Deborah L., Ulrich Leben, and Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, ed. Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2013. no. 146, p. 176.



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