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Mourners

The exhibition was organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Musée des Beaux Arts de Dijon, under the auspices of FRAME (French Regional and American Museum Exchange).

The exhibition is supported by a leadership gift from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Florence Gould Foundation, the Eugene McDermott Foundation, Connie Goodyear Baron, and Boucheron. Major corporate support is provided by Bank of the West – Member BNP Paribas Group.

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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Music and Ritual for the Dead Imagined in The Belles Heures and The Mourners

Program information

Two concurrent exhibitions of works from fifteenth-century France display works commissioned by the royal members of the Valois family: the alabaster mourner figures from the tomb John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria, and the pages of the Belles Heures (1405 - 1408/9) of Jean de Berry. The Belles Heures, a book of hours (or a personal prayer book meant to bring its readers closer to God), is one of the most celebrated and lavishly illustrated manuscripts in this country. Both represent and imagine liturgical actions, perhaps suggesting a desire of the noble Valois to partake in the liturgy that is usually the purview of the monks and other members of the clergy. This demonstration of exquisite mourning music, requiems, and chants, led by Richard Porterfield, includes discussions about the role of music in the act of fifteenth-century mourning, remembering the dead, and in laying them to rest.

Richard Porterfield, instructor, Mannes College, and founding member of Lionheart

Made possible with support of the Schola Cantorum of Mannes College.


Learn more about the exhibition The Art of Illumination:
http://blog.metmuseum.org/artofillumination/

Learn more about the exhibition The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy:
http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2010/mourners

The Mourners

Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy

March 2–May 23, 2010

Accompanied by a catalogue

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.

The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry features a great manuscript from the collection of Jean de Berry, the uncle of John the Fearless, and includes mourning figures from his tomb.

Visit a special website created by FRAME to preview the sculptures in the exhibition.