MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(active 1200-1225 in Anjou)

Tomb of Richard the Lionheart and his Wife

1200-25
Stone
Abbey church, Fontevrault (Maine-et-Loire)

Around the middle of the 12th century in northern France the 'gisant'.an effigy of the deceased lying on his or her tomb, became widespread. This form of funeral monument was increasingly used, particularly in the burial places of secular rulers. The Plantagenet tombs in the abbey church at Fontevrault, executed in the first quarter of the 13th century, probably represent the first attempts at direct portrayal of the dead actually lying in state. The figures (four out of an original six) are depicted as they would have appeared when ceremoniously laid out just after death, placed on finely draped beds and dressed in their finest clothes.