The new king also wants to prepare for the future. He requires to simultaneously prepare his own monument and his gisant (recumbent) in white marble which are the masterpieces of André Beauneveu.
The descendants of St. Louis view this new funerary art installed in grand chapels as a way to maintain respect and even devotion from the people. The dukes of Burgundy and of Berry, sons of Charles V, amplify that tradition.
Philippe de Bourgogne approves in 1381 the drawing for his own monument. The recumbent figure is placed on a high base flanked by arches sheltering a procession of 41 pleurants (mourners) 40 cm high. There is no emergency. Most of these statuettes will be realized by Claus de Werwe, nephew of Claus Sluter, between 1406 and 1410. The duke had died in 1404.
Jean de Berry certainly wanted to imitate his brother because his monument has a very similar design. He defines his chapel at Bourges in 1391 from the model of the Sainte-Chapelle of St. Louis. At the death of the duke in 1416, Jean de Cambrai had made the recumbent and the canopy and started the arches. He had also completed five surface-mounted statuettes of mourners in marble from the 40 that had been scheduled.
Two of the mourners in marble remain in private hands. They will be sold together by Christie's in Paris on June 15, lot 24 estimated € 4.5 million.
The male heirs of Jean de Berry predeceased him and a tribute to the late duke was no longer appealing. The payment of the artists is suspended and the work is stopped. The 35 other mourners will be realized circa 1450 in alabaster, cheaper than the marble. The style has changed and the attitudes are more expressive. Two of these statuettes, from the same collection as the two marbles discussed above, were sold together for € 4M including premium by Christie's on November 8, 2013.
SOLD for € 5M including premium