Tomb Effigy Of Jaquelin DeFerriere Essay, Research Paper
The Tomb Effigy of Jaquelin deFerriere (Limestone, North French, late 13th century) is unusual in style for the time and place in which it was created. In the 13th century, Gothic art in France consisted of more three dimensional sculpture and more of a variety in the poses of the figures than in the Romanesque period which preceded it. The Tomb Effigy of Jaquelin deFerriere falls into the transition period between the Romanesque (11th- 12th century) and Gothic time-frames (12th- 15th century), which may contribute to its flat, simple, linear appearance. Its appearance is not exactly Romanesque or Gothic, though it contains features from each period. The Tomb Effigy has the Romanesque features of being flat and rectangular with much empty space. The stiff pose of the figure is also Romanesque in style. The Tomb Effigy also has some Gothic features, such as the strong outline, which makes up each section of the image. This feature is reminiscent of French stained glass from around the same time period.
The large, plain rectangular shape of the Tomb Effigy is like the boxy and geometric appearance of architecture from the Romanesque period. Buildings from the Romanesque period were generally plainer than in the Gothic period, with little decoration. They seemed to be sectioned in large rectangular shapes and had a boxy appearance. Saint Etienne, a church built in the Romanesque period in France, shows this geometric rectangular style (fig.2). The style is flat and does not feature many sculptural adornments, if any at all. As in the Tomb Effigy, the blank rectangle is interrupted only by the figure carving of Jaquelin deFerriere. This plain adornment carved into a large rectangle of Limestone is like the style displayed in the facades of Romanesque
architecture. The west fa?ade of Notre-Dame-la-Grande (fig.3), also in France, also shows this rectangular appearance.
The stiff pose of the figure on the Effigy is much like the figures in French scripture from the Romanesque period. The figures in these scriptures are darkly outlined with unnatural poses. The figure on the Tomb Effigy is arrainged stiffly with his hands crosses at his shoulder and is also darkly outlined. An example of this kind of pose displayed in a French Romanesque scripture is shown in an illustration of Saint Matthew from the Gospel Book of Moissac(fig.4). The figure of Matthew is facing forward, darkly outlined with his hands arranged in front of him, like the figure on the Effigy. The simple drapery of Matthew?s robe in the scripture image is also like the simply carved folds of the tunic on the figure in the Effigy. The simplistic lines of the folds in the clothing are different from the more elaborate and natural looking clothing in the Gothic period.
The outlining of the figure also looks much like the design of French stained glass from the Gothic period. The figures are partitioned into sections for the different shapes of glass pieces they are made up of. The figure on the Tomb Effigy is segmented into shapes for each part of the body, clothing and weaponry. The carved outlines separate the figure and the objects he holds into a series of distinctive shapes, like the pieces of a puzzle. Stained glass seems to be put together in this way as well. An example of French stained glass from the Gothic period can be seen in Adoration of the Magi, a detail of stained glass from the west fa?ade of Chartres Cathedral(fig.5). Each part of the magi figures in the stained glass has its own section of glass, or many sections of glass that comprise its shape.
The feet of the magi figures jut out from under their robes and are the same shape as the feet of the figure on the Tomb Effigy. The figures are also seem to not be grounded, like the figure on the Effigy, as there is no indication of ground under their feet. This seems to indicate that the figure on the Effigy, like the image of the magi, is above earthly cares. Though there is what looks like a building above the figure?s left shoulder on the Tomb Effigy, there is no ground beneath his feet. Perhaps the building and tendril design above his head as well as the lack of land beneath his feet are to indicate he is headed to a heavenly place.
The face of the figure is made of simple lines to show features, it is not a detailed portrait of what Jaquelin deFerriere looked like. The magi figures also have simple faces, most likely because there is no way for the artist to know what they actually looked like and, because the importance of an image of the Magi does not lie in what they looked like physically, but what they represented symbolically in the history of Christianity. Likewise, it seems to be more important that the figure of Jaquelin deFerriere be dressed as a soldier with his weapons beside him, than to have a realistic interpretation of his physical appearance. Jaquelin deFerriere was intended to be remembered as a great soldier. The plainness of the Effigy?s design helps accentuate the symbolic depiction of Jaquelin deFerriere.
It is difficult to put the Tomb Effigy of Jaquelin deFerriere in a specific time period stylistically. The Effigy contains features seen in both Romanesque and Gothic art. Above all, its symbolic message comes through in its simplicity.