At the end of the 14th century, Philippe le Hardi constructed the Charterhouse of Champmol to serve as the cemetery for the Dukes of Burgundy of the Valois line. However, the Charterhouse soon became a massive artistic hub where artists from the North and France collaborated on works.
Even though the monastery was leveled during the French Revolution, the Flemish sculptor Claus Sluter managed to salvage two significant works for the site: the Well of Moses and the church portal, which depicts Philip the Bold and his wife Margaret of Flanders.
The magnificent statues of King David, Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Zacharias, and Jeremiah were placed atop the Well, constructed in the center of the expansive cloister.
THINGS TO DO AT CHARTREUSE DE CHAMPMOL ET PUITS DE MOISE:
• Take in some of the most famous works of art in the world to help develop your appreciation for history and your artistic abilities:
The sculpture 'The Well of Moses' by Claus Sluter is featured in the vast majority of art books; however, no photograph can do justice to the beauty and magnificence of the sculpted figures, the expressions of the prophets, or the angels that accompany the sculpture.
The wealth and finesse of Burgundian-Flemish sculpture from the latter half of the 14th century are brilliantly exemplified by this masterpiece created by Sluter. The statue is startlingly realistic.
• Learn about the paradigm shift that occurred in the sculpting style and how this came about:
Along with the naturalistic depiction of the standing Virgin that is referred to as 'Flemish realism,' these portal sculptures represent a significant historical shift in how people are depicted in sculpture.
The portrait busts of Peter Parler from Prague, which were created around 1370, show that this shift in aesthetic had already begun to take shape.
On the other hand, because this realism also permeated the sacred realm, it is referred to as the 'first great monument of early Renaissance art' north of the Alps because of its immense significance.
• Observe the re-creation of human characteristics and symmetry in the world around you:
Even though it exhibits very few of the characteristics associated with that style, this historical figure in the field of art is regarded as belonging to the period known as the 'beautiful style.'
Therefore, the posture, called a balanced contrapposto, is founded not on the idealized posture of the 'beautiful Madonna' but rather on accurate observation and a mastery of the movement of a standing body.
It is clear that the modeling of the face, complete with a slight dimple and a double chin, was done from life, just like the modeling of the eyes and the forehead was.
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