Participate in the restoration of 3 masterpieces of the Flamboyant Gothic style
Shortly after the death of her young husband the duke Philibert II of Savoie, Marguerite of Austria (1480-1530), daughter of the Emperor Maximilien, worked on building the royal monastery of Brou to perpetuate the memory of their union. The church is home to three tombstones: her own, that of Philibert, and that of her mother-in-law Marguerite of Bourbon.
The building of the monastery started in 1506. After first preliminary drafts of Jean Perréal and Michel Colombe, the tombstones were drawn before 1516 by Jan van Roome, known as Jean de Bruxelles. Their architecture and the little statuary were made before 1522 by Brussels sculptors under the supervision of the architect Louis van Boghem. The recumbent statues, sculptures representing the dead bodies and cherubs were executed by the German sculptor Conrad Meit and his co-workers between 1528 and 1531. The noblest materials were chosen by Marguerite: white marble of Carrare, black stones of Belgium and of Switzerland, alabaster of Saint-Lothain (Jura).
However, the archduchess died before the completion of her great work that she would never see in her lifetime. Her body joined that of her husband in 1532; their remains are always gathered in the sealed vault located under the tombstones eternally.
Except for some statuettes beheaded in 1831 and two shield holder angels broken in 1791, the tombstones are exceptionally well conserved as a whole. However they present a generalised clogging which tarnishes their appearance.
Besides the old restorations, especially those of Louis Dupasquier in the middle of the XIXth century, interfere with the reading of the set today. Blockages were made in plaster, joints in mortar; the oxidation of metallic armatures causes marks and cracks.
On the bottom parts of the tombstones, the degradations are linked to the visitors who touched the reliefs (graffitis, spalls, reliefs polishing and yellowing).
The movable elements of the structures and the pinnacles will be dropped, cleaned then put back together, the oxidised armatures will be replaced, the statuettes will be fixed again, and the joints will be better integrated to the whole with a mortar made from whitewash and powder of stone. The set of the surfaces will be carefully cleaned, in view of the fineness of the sculpted decoration, real stone lace. Finally, a surface treatment will be applied on the bottom parts in order to give depth and polish back to the tombstones. Barriers will be put again around each tombstone in order to protect them.
The estimated cost of the restoration of the three tombstones is €150.000.
Bring your support to French heritage, make a donation to rediscover the beauty and the brightness of the three tombstones of the royal monastery of Brou.
However much you donate, if you wish you can have your name [or the name of a person of your choice] listed on the donors page of the website.
Friends. For all donations above €50, you will also receive 1 free entry ticket to the monument of your choice, among the 100 monuments managed by the Centre des monuments nationaux.
Generous Friends. For all donations above €100, you will also receive 2 free entry tickets to the monument of your choice, among the 100 monuments managed by the Centre des monuments nationaux.
Patrons. For all donations above €300, you are invited, with the person of your choice, to the inauguration of the project completion, in the attendance of restoration experts and the director of the royal monastery of Brou.
Great patrons. For all donations above €600, you are received by the director of the royal monastery of Brou, with the person of your choice, to a private guided visit.
Benefactors. For all donations above €1 000, you become a member of the Centre des monuments nationaux sponsors club and you are invited for one year, with the person of your choice, to our unique events all over France (invitations to “moving Monuments”, “Monuments setting to music”, exhibitions inaugurations,…).
*Our invitations do not include transport and accommodation.
Viviane GUÈPE - LEMESLE
La Chambre des Notaires de l’Ain
Pierre-Guilhem BARONDEAU, Félicity NACEREDDINE – LAWS, Charles PRION PANSIUS, Bruno SEILHAN, Henri VON KIRCHBACH pour Friedrich & Margareta VON KIRCHBACH
Jean-Christophe BAUDEQUIN, M. & Mme Raymond DAMIEN, Bruno DE LA BASTIE, Élisabeth FUMAL, André GODIN, Yann KERGOURLAY, Josette MUTIN pour Philippe MUTIN, Annie PERRAUD
Michèle BEAU-MONNERET, Samuel COTTET, Patrice MAITRE, Henri de MONTCLOS, Denise et Louis PHILIPPE
Elisabeth ROUX, Guillaume ROY