Click this picture of the Louvre to see the whole set.
The Mourners at the Met
What a surprise when I stumbled across one of the best (small) exhibits I have ever encountered, The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy. This exhibit is the first time these sculptures have been separated from the tomb in Burgundy they have been mourning for hundreds of years. Arranged in 2 rows, they walk and mourn in silence, doing what people have done for thousands of years–remember those who have come before. They are carved in amazing detail, only 16 inches tall, and arranged in the Medieval sculpture hall in a solemn and thought-provoking manner that stopped me in my tracks.
I love Medieval art. I love France. What a find to invite me to be as introspective as these fellows are.
In our own ways, and in mine in particular, I find myself reflecting on my past, much as these statues do. I constantly replay images from the past, thinking, from different perspectives, about how to live the present and prepare for a better future while being informed by what has gone on before. It is not that often that I get overwhelmed with an entire art display, though this one, as if walking toward the doorway through which I entered, greeted me as if personally and solemnly.
Do I mourn? Will others mourn me? I wonder to what extent anything of mine will even be remembered after I finish my journey?
While this can immediately be seen as a lament, I will instead take this as an invitation to make the remainder of my life memorable. I want to leave the world a better place, be part of something greater than myself.
What better response to have to works of art, than to want to take positive action?
What do you want people to remember about you?