A fragment of Charles V’s tomb acquired by the Louvre

Ascribed to Jean de Lièges
or his workshop, c. 1376
Fragment of Charles V and Jeanne de Bourbon’s tomb, c. 1376
Marble - 63.5 x 20 x 5.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : SVV Prunier

15/6/09 – Acquisition – Paris, Musée du Louvre – The tomb of Charles V and Jeanne de Bourbon in Saint Denis was destroyed in 1793 and its layout is only known today thanks to the watercolour by Gaignières (BnF).
It had two recumbent figures, the king and queen, surrounded by a sculpted arcature and laid on a large black flagstone. The king’s figure (Louvre) was executed in 1364-1366 by André Beauneveu but the rest of the monument was completed around ten years later, perhaps by Jean de Liège and his workshop. The only remaining elements, besides the recumbent figure of Charles V, are those of the arcature held at the Louvre and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs [1] …

Naturally, the important fragment (ill.) which came up for auction on 31 May in Louviers ( Prunier) was pre-empted by the Louvre. The sale price was 383,149€ (including charges). According to the Gaignières watercolour, this piece was next to the king, whereas its symmetrical counterpart, on the queen’s side, is held at the Arts Décoratifs museum. This discovery leads us to hope that other elements of this important tomb, the first to be decorated in such an ornate way, might also be found in the future.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 15 juin 2009


[1] See the catalogue for the exhibition Les fastes du Gothique. Le siècle de Charles V, Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 1981, pp. 130-131.

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