Friday, August 12, 2016


Only a medieval craftsman could carve on a gravestone such an expression as that on the face of the lion, above. The important dalle funéraire or plate-tombe represents the French chevalier Pierre de Chantemelle de Flavacourt and his wife, Isabelle de Hardelieu, circa 1352, and is on display in the Musée de Cluny. To the casual observer of this detail of the gravestone, it would appear that the knight is standing on the lion; however, because on monumental slabs and effigies sculpted during the Middle Ages animals placed at the feet of the defunct represented the terrestrial world, the image can be interpreted to symbolize the knight's gradual leaving of the earth and rising up to heaven. 

la béatitude:  beatitude, bliss, the warm fuzzies (familiar)
un chevalier:  a knight

©2016 P.B. Lecron