(b. ca. 1350, Haarlem, d. 1406, Dijon)

Well of Moses: Prophets David and Jeremiah

Stone, height 179 cm
Musée Archéologique, Dijon

Moses, David, Jeremiah, Zechariah Daniel and Isaiah stand before small niches of the fountain hexagonal base. Each prophets are identified by inscriptions and appropriate attributes. Six grieving angels hover above the prophets. Old Testament prophets appeared frequently in contemporary art to indicate the fulfilment of their prophecies of the coming of Christ. Sluter, however, invented a wholly novel composition. His prophets are life-size and placed near the eye level of the viewer, who must walk around the ensemble to see all the figures.

Sluter's remarkable statues show angels and prophets varied in their poses. The attention to details signals Sluter's effort to make his statues as believable as possible. Their life-like quality was enhanced further by the polychromy applied by Jean Malouel and Herman of Cologne in 1402.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 19 minutes):
Thomas Tallis: The Lamentations of Jeremiah