Canopy from the tomb of Philip III (the Bold) of France (1245-1285)
Jean d'Arras (French, active 1297–1307)
Made in Ile-de-France, France
Overall: 15 3/4 x 28 1/2 x 19 3/4 in. (40 x 72.4 x 50.2 cm)
Bequest of George Blumenthal and Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Maxime Levy Hermanos, by exchange, 2007
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
The royal abbey was the burial church for the kings and queens of France. This elaborate architectural canopy was originally an integral part of the tom of Philip III, son of Louis IX (Saint Louis). Commissioned by Philip IV (the Fair) (1268–1314) for the embalmed body of his father, who died in 1285 while on a military crusade against Aragon, master sculptor Jean d’Arras made the tomb in black and white marble. A new approach to a tomb representation is here achieved with the effigy placed against a black marble slab with another relatively new feature, a canopy over the deceased that may be intended to signify heaven. A masterpiece of micro-architecture the refined interior vaults also includes a masked man and grotesque animals on the exterior. The effigy is still in the abbey; both it and the canopy were removed in the wake of the French Revolution in 1796.
From the abbey of Saint-Denis; Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Medieval Art and The Cloisters(Deaccessioned 3/7/1988); Paul W. Doll, Jr., Lake Toxaway, North Carolina (1988-2007)