Les saintes femmes au tombeau (Three Holy Women at the Tomb)

George Minne Belgian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 829

According to Christian tradition, the three holy women uncovered the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, bearing witness to his miraculous resurrection. Minne underscored the mysterious character of the event by completely enveloping the trio in concealing robes. The motif recalls the mourning figures carved on medieval tombs, but the stylized play of drapery and streamlined, simplified masses are the artist’s own invention. First modeled in plaster in 1896, the composition exists in bronze, granite, and wood versions. Conservative critics disparaged Minne’s style as coarse and primitive, but progressive artistic circles in Brussels and Vienna admired its emotional intensity and directness.

Les saintes femmes au tombeau (Three Holy Women at the Tomb), George Minne (Belgian, Ghent 1866–1941 Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium), Varnished oak, Belgian

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