SLODTZ, René-Michel
(b. 1705, Paris, d. 1764, Paris)

Funeral Monument to Languet de Gergy

Saint-Sulpice, Paris

Slodtz returned to Paris in 1746, and the Langet de Gergy tomb, completed in 1753, is the most important work he executed during the remainder of his life. It is also the most rhetorical of his tombs, and possibly shows some signs of strain - despite, or because of, its virtuoso technical display. He was to receive several commissions for work at Saint-Sulpice, itself a monument to Languet de Gergy, as Slodtz was to indicate in the tomb. The monument is a narrative in allegorical terms, expressing almost the sentiment of Donne's Words: 'Death, thou shalt die.' Languet de Gergy represents, as it were, the Christian soul over whom Death has no power, vanquished by the appearance of an angel who thrusts back the curtain of mortality and brings a vision of eternal happiness. The dramatic effect somewhat overpowering in the small chapel where the monument is placed, and there is a distinct mannerism in, for example, the angel, which was not apparent in Slodtz earlier work.

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