The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany Artist Antonio and Giovanni Giusti (also known in France as the Juste brothers)1515-31Location Basilique Saint-Denis

The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany 

Artist Antonio and Giovanni Giusti (also known in France as the Juste brothers)
1515-31

Location  Basilique Saint-Denis 

Commissioned by Francis I (the successor to Louis XII), this tomb was designed by Florentine sculptors, the Guisti, residing in France. Scholars comment on its echo of Michelangelo’s first plan for the tomb of Pope Julius, another freestanding scheme with multiple figures. The arched canopy, underneath which the two are shown dead, is decorated with statues of the Apostles (see Saint Peter below) as well as the four cardinal virtues at the corners. The reliefs on the side depict the king’s deeds (battle relief is shown below) while above the couple kneels in prayer–a symbol of their resurrection. Zerner comments on the development of kneeling effigy, what Panofsky called “the activation of the effigy”: “The deceased ceased to be represented lying on a parade bed. The older formula had the advantage of gracefully articulating the passage from one life to another, recalling the exhibition of the corpse during funeral rites, while anticipating an awakening to eternal life. Suddenly, the effigy drew itself upright and knelt in prayer. However, the statue did not pray in a void; these kneeling individuals turn toward the altar and to the divine figures placed on it. Such funeral portraits are only comprehensible within the transcendental space–both real and fictional–of the church, shared by the faithful and statues

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