Saint-Denis : Royal Tombs (Saint-Denis [Paris], France) : General view of the north transept, depicting two tombs: the first, on the left, is the Tomb of Louis XII, and on the far right is the tomb of Henri II

L'Orme, Philibert de, ca. 1510-1570
Petitot, Pierre, 1760-1840
Pilon, Germain, ca. 1525-1590
Primaticcio, Francesco, 1504-1570
near Paris, Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France
ca. 1400-1850 (inclusive)
Date Depicted:
500 AD - 1499 AD
The change during the Renaissance in attitudes towards the affirmation of the individual is reflected in the later royal tombs at Saint-Denis. As with the medieval tombs, some were commissioned for the abbey, while others were brought in at a later date from their original places in various Paris churches, having been dismantled during the Revolution and re-erected under the Restoration after the closure of Alexandre Lenoir's Musée des Monuments Français. All these monuments were later installed in new sites, most recently in the chancel of the church, where they constitute both a museum of the Kings of France and an important display of French funerary sculpture. The tomb of the Dukes of Orléans, formerly in the Celestine church, Paris (destroyed 1795), was commissioned by Louis XII in 1502 and was the first to reveal signs of a taste for the Italian style. The tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany commissioned by Francis I in 1516, was completed only in 1531. The tomb of Francis I and Claude of France, commissioned by Henry II from Philibert de L'Orme in 1548, reveals a similar spirit but is still more grandiose in design and execution; it gives the impression of being an independent building, a triumphal arch constructed entirely in white marble. In 1817, as a part of his attempts to wipe out all traces of the Revolution, Louis XVIII commissioned Edme Gaulle (1762-1841) and Pierre Petitot (1760-1840) to execute figures of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette respectively; the statues depict the monarchs in their coronation robes and were based on the type of praying figures produced in the Renaissance.
Variant Titles:
Abbey Church of Saint-Denis
Abbaye de Saint-Denis
Basilique de Saint-Denis
Basilica of St. Denis
Architecture -- France -- 13th century -- (YVRC)
Nineteenth century
Accession Number:
churches (AAT)
sculpture (AAT)
Content Type:
Sculptures, Models, & Architecture
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
death or burial; portraits; rulers and leaders; Francis I, King of France, 1494-1547 carving ; construction built works; funerary structures; tombs; built works; monuments; visual works; sculpture (visual work)
Source Creator:
Gilchrist, Scott
Source Title:
Archivision Module Two
Source Created:
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC
Archivision, Inc.
Source Note:
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Local Record Number: