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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Naked into eternity

St-Denis, France ~ October 15, 2008

The exquisite and unusual funerary monument of Francois I and Claude de France rests in the south transept of St-Denis Basilica near Paris. It's unusual because monuments to kings and queens don't usually appear nude and naturalistic. The artists were Philibert Delorme and Pierre Bontemps. It's one of my favorite pieces of sculpture. Even the feet are beautiful in their artistic sensitivity and sensuality. Claude (1499-1524) died at the age of 24 after bearing the king seven children. Wikipedia calls her "the pawn of so much dynastic maneuvering." Reading between the lines, she may have had privilege, but how little freedom? Francois (1494-1547) lived to the age of 52, and was considered France's first Renaissance monarch.

4 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Showing me a place I have always wanted to go to. Ironic, huh?

Jacob said...

This reminds me of another similar funerary monument (thanks for that word, "funerary") post a while back by Vogon Poet.

It is hard to understand why a king and queen would be displayed in all their naked beauty. I wonder, too, if the sculpture had them pose for him before they died or he did a quick sculpture after they died.

Next time, we're going to visit St-Denis.

Lee Spangler said...

Yeah Tapirgal, that was one incredible place.-looked like a little Notre Dame and the basement which showed the early foundations and crypts!

Vogon Poet said...

The Basilica of St Denis is a beautiful place lost in a quite bad neighborhood...