DUMONT, François
(b. ca. 1687, Paris, d. 1726, Lille)

Tomb of the Demoiselles Bonnier

1719
Marble
Musée Fabre, Montpellier

A tender vein is revealed in Dumont by the sole remaining and mutilated fragment from the Demoiselles Bonnier tomb, commissioned in 1719 for the Bonnier chapel in the church of the Récollets at Montpellier. The sad and unusual circumstances of a monument commemorating the deaths of two very young (non-princely) children resulted in a novel design, the full effect of which can only be guessed at. The half-kneeling pose of the five-year-old girl, who stretched out her hand to her sister, dead at birth, is at once a little awkward and convincingly child-like; her costume is handled with delicate detail, as was probably the now somewhat damaged face, and the statue has an unaffected poignancy, enhanced perhaps by its fragmentary state.