Ten weepers (pleurants) from the tomb of Isabella de Bourbon
Bronze, attributed to Renier van Thienen, c. 1475-76
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

These intricately carved figures were part of a larger funerary monument dedicated to Isabella de Bourbon, the second wife of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, commissioned by Mary of Burgundy in Brussels, her daughter, in 1475. They were installed in the St Michael's Abbey, Antwerp, in 1476, and possibly dismantled during the iconoclast uprising of August 1566. The sculptures are all that remain of the original tomb. Each one represents a mournful figure grieving over the death of Isabella, and were arranged around the sarcophagus. They are of exquisite detail and emotive expressions, capturing the sorrow and lamentation of the mourners. They are considered masterpieces of late medieval sculpture and are highly regarded for their artistic and historical significance, reflecting the medieval concept of death and remembrance.


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