Saturday, 9 May 2020

Charlotte Besuijen / Colijn de Nole

Colijn de Nole
Tomb of Brederode 
Avender sandstone, Baumberger sandstone, hardstone, wood 
388 x 450,3 x 328 cm 
Grote Kerk, Vianen NL

Tomb of Brederode, fragment
Baumberger sandstone
Grote Kerk, Vianen NL

The Brederode chapel of the church in Vianen contains the tomb of Reinoud III van Brederode (1556) and Philippote van der Marck (1536). The Brederode grave monument is an example of a memento mori monument: the recumbent effigies depict Reinoud and Philippote as if they had recently died, in stark contrast to the single transi below it, which depicts a deceased person in an advanced state of decomposition. In the Middle Ages, this type of monument was often designed to remind the passersby of the transience and vanity of earthly life, as well as to instil confidence in resurrection.

In the lecture ‘Subjective Histories of Sculpture’ Lucy Skaer also speaks about a transi tomb, namely that of John de Arundel (1435). Skaer adds an extra phase to the "stages" of the monument by including the mortal remains, which are under the tomb and out of sight, in her observation:
“The tomb can be read from top to bottom; the diminishment of the person from recent death through the transitional macabre decomposition to the actual remains. Or from the bottom to the top; from the corpse to the enduring object of the person as he or she was in life.”

This is different in the Brederode monument. After all, there is only one transi on the grave monument, while there are two effigies on the top plate. Thus the transi is not a representation of the bodies of the couple themselves, but a general representation of impermanence. As passersby we cannot relate to an experience of death, but the monument does reveal the mutability of death.

In my work Transi each of the drawings after the initial one follows on from the one before. As such the work knows several stages. Together, these nine drawings create a space that spans time and encapsulates transience and transformation.

With special thanks to Margreet and Hans Kluit on behalf of the Grote Kerk Vianen.

Charlotte Besuijen, 2020

Charlotte Besuijen (NL)
graphite and papier-mâché on paper, wood
100 x 293 x 270 cm
on display at: RuimteCAESUUR, Middelburg NL

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