The Two Tombs of Philip the Bold

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This article rewrites the history of the tomb of Philip the Bold made for the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon, through a close reading and re-transcription of the entire archival record, including some previously unknown documents, paying careful attention to what their terminology and chronology reveal about time, cost, materials and process; it analyses the scale of the project, and in particular the acquisition and working of materials: limestone from Tonnerre, ‘alabaster’ as spolia from Autun, black marble from Dinant, white marble, presumably from Italy, via Paris, alabaster from Grenoble and a pinkish limestone from Resne, near Dijon. By reconsidering this record, along with the physical and visual evidence of the existing monument, it argues that there was not one but two tombs made for Philip the Bold: the first was completed by Jean de Marville and then rejected by Philip, and perhaps also by the Carthusians; the second, that we have today, was started again from scratch in the early 1390s by Claus Sluter, in collaboration, possibly, with Jacques de Baerze. The story of how these two tombs were planned, worked on, adapted or restarted, along with what Marville’s abandoned project may have looked like, and what may have become of its constituent parts, is woven into the narrative of Philip’s political and religious ambitions, the role of  his wife Margaret of Flanders, and of the construction and decoration of the Chartreuse de Champmol itself.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes
VolumeLXXXII (2019)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2020


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