Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Opens The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy

The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, on view May 8, 2011–July 31, 2011, features thirty-seven sculptures from the tomb of John the Fearless (1342–1404), the second duke of Burgundy. His elaborate tomb, once housed at a monastery on the outskirts of Dijon, is now one of the centerpieces of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon.

During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Valois dukes of Burgundy ruled over extensive territories in present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands from their capital in Dijon. The significant artistic patronage of the dukes drew artists, musicians and writers to Dijon, which became a major center of artistic production. The alabaster tomb sculptures exemplify some of the most important artistic innovations of the late middle Ages. The sculptures, each 16 inches high, depict sorrowful figures expressing their grief or devotion to the second Duke, who was both a powerful political figure and patron of the arts. Each individual figure has a different expression; some wring their hands or dry their tears, while others appear lost in solemn contemplation, or hide their faces in the deeply carved folds of their robes.

The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy 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. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

Image: Sculpture Mourner No. 52 from the Tomb of Jean Sans Peur (John the Fearless), second Duke of Burgundy.


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