Mary of Burgundy – a daddy’s girl

I always thought that out of all the art that people choose to express themselves the one that is the most personal is art connected to their death. The 14th century was the opposite of our time even very rich people didn’t have as many pictures of themselves as us. One usually only bought portraits for special occasions like a wedding, birth, a war victory or on your grave. The most personal would probably be the art on your grave/tomb or crypt, because that is when one really starts to reflect on how you want to be remembered by generations to come and it also says a whole lot about a person who they choose to “spend the afterlife with”. Some people choose to share their afterlife with their parents or children while others were buried with their partner or even with several partners they had during their life. Even though Mary had a good marriage with Maximilian I until she died she choose to be buried in the same church as her dad in the Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) in Bruges, Belgium.

 the tombs of Charles the Bold, last Valois Duke of Burgundy, and his daughter, the duchess Mary.

the tombs of Charles the Bold, last Valois Duke of Burgundy, and his daughter, the duchess Mary.

The gilded bronze effigies of both father and daughter repose at full length on polished slabs of black stone. Both are crowned.

Funeral crown of Mary of Burgundy.

Funeral crown of Mary of Burgundy.

Detail of Mary of Burgundy's tomb.

Detail of Mary of Burgundy’s tomb.

Mary of Burgundy 84

Detail of Mary of Burgundy's tomb.

Detail of Mary of Burgundy’s tomb.

Mary of Burgundy 87

Tomb of Mary of Burgundy details angel and shield.

Tomb of Mary of Burgundy details angel and shield.

The interesting thing about the tomb of Mary’s father is that they aren’t sure that it really is her dad lying in the tomb because he originally was buried in a makeshift grave in Nancy but his great grandson has or at least believed he had moved him to this location, but there have always been rumors/fears that the French deliberately gave him the wrong skeleton.

Another interesting thing is that they later put the heart of Mary’s son Philip the Fair in an urn and placed it next to Mary’s tomb.

To us it sounds like 25 years is VERY young to go. So young that one barely have had time to contemplate life and death but in Mary’s time it was something that even young people were very conscious about. One way we know that even youngsters contemplated death is that it was a reoccurring theme in the Book of Hours. A Book of Hours was a Christian devotional book that was popular in the Middle Ages. All Books of Hours were unique because they were handmade, but they had some prayers and text that all Book of Hours had in common one of them was called the Office of the Death which was a prayer cycle that was said for the repose of the soul of a decedent. Nowadays we try to avoid thinking about Death and the Afterlife but in medieval times people were encouraged to think about Death and the Afterlife because they believed that you had to live a good life in order to enter heaven and more importantly avoid punishment in hell for all eternity.

Office of Death in the Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy.

Office of Death in the Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy.

Bonsoir mes amis, Hilde

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2 thoughts on “Mary of Burgundy – a daddy’s girl

  1. Mary of Burgundy was just like Anne of Brittany, a wealthy and important heiress and she had so, so much and I know that is she did not die, Philip of Flanders would not have turned out as he did. He and his sister Margaret were raised up by Margaret of York, the second wife of Charles the Bold who was an English Princess, sister of Edward the Fourth of England. She had hard core Neville blood coursing in her veins and she was extremely ambitious and very able and politically astute and some of that rubbed off on Philip of Flanders. His sister, Margaret was sent to France at the age of three to be raised up there to wed Charles the Eight but of coarse, Charles the Eight ended up wedding Anne of Brittany. That is why I am surprised that Philip was prepared to negotiate with France when he left Juana of Castile in Castile because she was pregnant with their son, Ferdinand. He traveled through France on his way home and met with Louis the Twelfth. But then, one should not be surprised at what Philip did for he was upset with Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile because he felt he should be King of Castile in his own right, not in right of his wife, Juana of Castile. Meaning that Juana became Queen of Castile on Isabella’s death and he left out in the cold as the Queen of Castile’s consort. It would have been absolutely horrible for Castile if Philip of Flanders did not die in 1506. He is actually referred as Philip the First of Castile and he is buried beside Juana of Castile in Granada and Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon for all eternity. How wonderful!! Philip is not buried in Burgundy or Flanders or anywhere near there but in Granada. I think that is absolutely splendid.He does not rest in peace but Juana of Castile does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol you really don’t like him. Well I guess it is true that him being a habsburger made him very aware of politics and that increasing power would be very high on his to-do-list.

      Like

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