Attributed to Renier van Thienen and Jan Borman (II): Ten Pleurants (1475-1476)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A set of ten statues attributed to the Flemish artists Jan Borman (II) (active between 1479 -1520) and Renier van Thienen (1430 - 1498). These statues are called 'plearants' or 'weepers' and were placed around a tomb and represent the mourners. These pleurants are from the tomb of Isabella of Bourbon, Countess of Charolais (1434 – 1465), the second wife (and niece!) of duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy. Charles the Bold and Isabella of Bourbon married in 1454 and got 1 child: Mary of Burgundy. Isabella died in 1465 of tuberculosis in Antwerp, aged only 31. Around her tomb were placed 24 pleurants but only these 10 have survived (the tomb was destroyed during the Iconoclast Fury of 1566). The pleurants themselves give a nice impression of the fashion of the Burgundian court although they are dressed in an earlier fashion than Isabella's and are probably copies from older tombs. The statues don't represent the immediate family of Isabella but her ancestors: the man with crown and orb is Holy Roman Emperor Louis of Bavaria (her great-great-grandfather) and the one with the order of St Antony cross around his neck is his son Albrecht of Bavaria (her great-grandfather). The others have not been identified. Statues from around 1475-1476.

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