Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Mourners at the Met

The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy at the Metropolitan through May 23,2010.

An exhibition of the thirty nine carved alabaster mourners by the artists Jean de La Huerta and Antoine Le Moiturier, each approximately 17 inches high and dating from the mid 15th Century. This is the first time that "these figures will be seen together outside of France and provides an unprecedented opportunity to appreciate each sculpture as an individual work of art." [FRAME]

The installation is a procession of two rows down the middle of the Metropolitan Medieval Sculpture Hall. Removed from their original architectural niches and now illuminated from above, these modest alabaster figures glow solemnly. They are recontextualized into the present era, to be seen as two rows of objects distilling the metaphors of grief.

A composite of four images from the Met website which I color corrected a bit to more accurately reflect what I felt was the startling luminosity of the alabaster figures.
[PR] "The Mourners from the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy are deeply affecting works of art. Beyond their evident visual and narrative qualities, we cannot help but be struck by the emotion they convey as they follow the funeral procession, weeping, praying, singing, lost in thought, giving vent to their grief, or consoling their neighbor. Mourning, they remind us, is a collective experience, common to all people and all moments in history."
[ Sophie Jugie, Director, Musée des Beaux-Arts. Dijon ]

The Met About the Mourners page
The Met Index to the 39 Mourners page
The FRAME website: Additional information on the Mourners 3D Photography Project

Exhibition Schedule
The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy will be touring the United States as follows:

March 2, 2010 - May 23, 2010: Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC, NY)
June 20, 2010 - September 6, 2010: Saint Louis Art Museum (Saint Louis, MO)
October 3, 2010 - January 2, 2011: Dallas Art Museum (Dallas, TX)
January 23, 2011 - April 17, 2011: Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN)
May 8, 2011 - July 31, 2011: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
August 21, 2011 - January 1, 2012: Legion of Honor (San Francisco, CA)
January 20, 2012 - April 15, 2012: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, VA)