Ligier Richier (c. 1500–1567) was a French sculptor active in Saint-Mihiel in north-eastern France.
Saint-Mihiel is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.
Richier primarily worked in the churches of his native Saint-Mihiel and from 1530 he enjoyed the protection of Duke Antoine of Lorraine, for whom he did important work. Whilst Richier did sometimes work in wood, he preferred the pale, soft limestone with its fine grain, and few veins, extracted at Saint Mihiel and Sorcy and when working in this medium he experimented with refined polishing techniques, with which he was able to give the stone a marble-like appearance.One of his finest works is the "Groupe de la Passion", consisting of 13 life-size figures made in the local stone of the Meuse region. It can be found in the Church of St. Étienne. It is also known as the "Pâmoison de la Vierge" (Swoon of the Virgin, the Virgin fainting, supported by St John). Other works attributed to him are in the Church of St. Pierre, Bar-le-Duc, and in the Louvre.
The Swoon of the Virgin, in Italian Lo Spasimo della Vergine, or Fainting Virgin Mary was an idea developed in the late Middle Ages, that the Virgin Mary had fainted during the Passion of Christ, most often placed while she watched the Crucifixion of Jesus. It was based on mentions in later texts of the apocryphal gospel the Acta Pilati, which describe Mary swooning. It was popular in later medieval art and theological literature, but as it was not mentioned in the Canonical Gospels, it became controversial, and from the 16th century was discouraged by many senior churchmen.
Bar-le-Duc, formerly known as Bar, is a commune in the Meuse département, of which it is the capital. The department is in Grand Est in northeastern France.
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum, receiving 10.2 million visitors.
His work "Le Transi de René de Chalon" is in the church of Saint-Étienne i, Bar-le-Duc. Made in Sorcy stone and standing at 1m74cm, it depicts the corpse of Rene de Chalon, Prince of Orange (who died on the 15th of July 1544) in the form of a flayed corpse clutching its own heart.
The Cadaver Tomb of René of Chalon is a late Gothic period funerary monument, known as a transi, in the church of Saint-Étienne at Bar-le-Duc, in northeastern France. It consists of an altarpiece and a limestone statue of a putrefied and skinless corpse which stands upright and extends his left hand outwards. Completed sometime between 1544 and 1557, the majority of its construction is attributed to the French sculptor Ligier Richier. Other elements, including the coat of arms and funeral drapery, were added in the 16th and 18th centuries respectively.
Whilst little is known of Ligier Richier's personal life, it is recorded that in 1560, with the others living in Saint-Mihiel, he petitioned the Duke of Lorraine in order to practice in the reformed Protestant religion. He was apparently unsuccessful, for in 1564 he joined his daughter Bernadine in Geneva, Switzerland. She had married Pierre Godart, another Protestant who left Lorraine because of his religious beliefs. Richier remained in Geneva until his death in 1567.
Perhaps more than any other French artist of his period, Ligier Richier produced some notable works linked to the "Passion"; a mixture of calvaries, pietàs and "mise au tombeau" (a depiction of the entombment). Some researchers believe he was born in Dragonville near Commercy, but there is evidence that he was born in Saint-MihielThe people of Saint-Mihiel and its immediate neighbourhood are known as "Sammiellois". It is not clear when Richier was born.
Commercy is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. The 18th-century Lorraine historian Nicolas Luton Durival (1713–1795) was born in Commercy.
Richier executed calvaries for the parish church in Briey and for Saint-Étienne's church in Bar-le-Duc, the famous "mise au tombeau" for the Saint-Mihiel church of Saint-Étienne, a pietà for a church in Étain, and a depiction of the Virgin Mary fainting for Saint-Michel's church in Saint-Mihiel and was responsible for other works in neighbouring villages and towns in Lorraine. He also executed some funerary statues including the statue on the tomb of René de Chalon, the Prince of Orange, killed in 1544 at the Battle of Saint-Dizier, located in the church of Saint-Étienne in Bar-le-Duc, this a macabre exercise in "écorché".He also produced a sculpture for the tomb of Philippa de Gueldres, the widow of Duke René II of Lorraine in Pont-à-Mousson where she died in 1547.
Briey is a former commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in northeastern France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Val de Briey.
The Battle of Saint-Dizier was a battle during the War of the Sixth Coalition, fought on 26 March 1814, and is notable as Napoleon's last victory before he abdicated.
Pont-à-Mousson is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.
From 1530 onwards Richier worked under the protection of Duke Antoine of Lorraine, for whom he did important work. Although he also worked in wood, he preferred the soft limestone available from quarries around Saint-Mihiel and Sorcy and by developing new polishing techniques he was able to give the limestone a marble-like appearance.
Sculptures by Ligier Richier
René of Anjou, also known as René I of Naples and Good King René, was count of Piedmont, Duke of Bar (1430–80), Duke of Lorraine (1431–53), Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence (1434–80), briefly King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem (1438–80) and Aragon including Sicily, Majorca and Corsica (1466–70).
Châlons-en-Champagne is a city in the Grand Est region of France. It is the capital of the department of Marne, despite being only a quarter the size of the city of Reims.
René of Chalon, also known as Renatus of Chalon, was a Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelre.
René II was Count of Vaudémont from 1470, Duke of Lorraine from 1473, and Duke of Bar from 1483 to 1508. He claimed the crown of the Kingdom of Naples and the County of Provence as the Duke of Calabria 1480–1493 and as King of Naples and Jerusalem 1493–1508. He succeeded his uncle John of Vaudémont as Count of Harcourt in 1473, exchanging it for the county of Aumale in 1495. He succeeded as Count of Guise in 1504.
Antoine, known as the Good, was Duke of Lorraine from 1508 until his death in 1544.
Claude de Lorraine, duc de Guise was a French aristocrat and general. He became the first Duke of Guise in 1528.
The County of Bar was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire encompassing the pays de Barrois and centred on the city of Bar-le-Duc. It was held by the House of Montbéliard from the 11th century. Part of the county, the so-called Barrois mouvant, became a fief of the Kingdom of France in 1301 and was elevated to the Duchy of Bar in 1354. The Barrois non-mouvant remained a part of the Empire. From 1480, it was united to the imperial Duchy of Lorraine.
Anna of Lorraine was a princess of the House of Lorraine. She was Princess of Orange by her first marriage to René of Châlon, and Duchess of Aarschot by her second marriage to Philippe II of Croÿ.
Nicolas of Lorraine, Duke of Mercœur was the second son of Antoine, Duke of Lorraine and Renée de Bourbon.
Louis I of Bar was a French bishop of the 15th century and the de jure Duke of Bar from 1415 to 1430, ruling from the 1420s alongside his grand-nephew René of Anjou.
Louis de Lorraine was a nobleman of Lorraine who attempted to claim the Kingdom of Naples. He was styled as the Count of Vaudémont.
Meuse is a department in northeast France, named after the River Meuse. Meuse is part of the current region of Grand Est and is surrounded by the French departments of Ardennes, Marne, Haute-Marne, Vosges, Meurthe-et-Moselle, and has a short border with Belgium on the north. Parts of Meuse belong to Parc naturel régional de Lorraine. Front lines in trench warfare during World War I ran varying courses through the department and it hosted an important battle/offensive in 1916 in and around Verdun.
Philippa of Guelders, was a Duchess consort of Lorraine. She served as regent of Lorraine during the absence of her son.
The Ducal Palace of Nancy is a former princely residence in Nancy, France, which was home to the Dukes of Lorraine. It houses the Musée Lorrain, one of Nancy's principal museums, dedicated to the art, history and popular traditions of Lorraine until the early 20th century. It has been listed since 1840 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
Renée of Bourbon, Duchess of Lorraine also called, Renée, Lady of Mercœur,, was a Duchess consort of Lorraine. She was a daughter of Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier by Clara Gonzaga, and sister of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon.
Ligier Richier was a 16th-century religious sculptor working in Lorraine, France and known in particular for his depictions of scenes from the "Passion of Christ". The various episodes of the Passion, between the arrest and the crucifixion of Christ, as recounted in the Gospels, were increasingly subject to representation in the Arts towards the end of the Middle Ages, in tandem with the growing popularity of the staging of theatrical mystery plays.
Saint Mihiel Abbey is an ancient Benedictine abbey situated in the town of Saint-Mihiel, near Verdun in the Meuse department in Lorraine in north-eastern France.