Montaigne's cenotaph in Bordeaux Aquitaine museum

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The cenotaph - ©Pline / CC-BY-SA The cenotaph - ©Pline / CC-BY-SA
Bordeaux museum of Aquitaine Museum Michel de Montaigne

The museum

Oh, lots of treasures, here! A museum full of works of art: paintings, archaeological collections, sculptures… In fact, we learn all about Aquitaine’s history, since Prehistory from modern times!

We have: the Prehistoric Venus of Laussel, the gorgeous treasure of Tayac (2th c. BC), Gallo-Roman sarcophagus and mosaics… Hey, a well-worth seeing visit, in Bordeaux!

Montaigne’s cenotaph

After his death, the famous French writer from the Renaissance, Montaigne, asked to be bury in the church of the Feuillants, in Bordeaux. But his heart would stay in the church of Montaigne, his native land, his fief.

His widow, Françoise de Chassaigne, one year after his death in 1592, ordered a big cenotaph to sculptors Prieur and Guillermain. A cenotaph? Yes: a funerary monument where the body is not bury in. A gorgeous monument!

Made of stone from Taillebourg, we can see Montaigne’s recumbent statue wearing his armour, kneeling with his hands clasped together. The details: he has a helmet behind hid head, a sword and gloves by his sides, a lion at his feet.

His blazon is surround by the cord of Saint-Michel’s order. Next to the coat of arm, we have two epitaphs, in Greek and in Latin. The one in Latin begins by: ″To Michel de Montaigne, son of Pierre, grand-son of Grimond, grand-grand-son of Raymond, knight of Saint-Michel, ex-mayor of the city of Bordeaux, a man born for the glory, with gentle manners, a witty mind...″ At the end of the 19th century, the cenotaph moved in the city faculty, the current museum of Aquitaine.


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