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In this sculpture there meet more exactly than in any other the unbroken tradition and the sharp renewal of Europe. It is the very type of what is talked of in my book.
The middle statue on the eastern side of the tomb of Philibert of Savoy, at Brou, near Bourg-en-Bresse, it stands upon a site of pre-historic sanctity, yet upon one which felt most fully the spring of the sixteenth century. The south and the north of our civilization mingled in it more thoroughly even than on the Loire. The Walloon and the Italian and the Swiss passed the chisel to each other ; Beughen, Vambelli, Meyt were at work there together; and the French of the plains designed and controlled the whole. The church which surrounds it is Gothic, and the last of the Gothic, but the spirit which makes the stone live is the Renaissance.
Its time is just the climax. It was completed perhaps in 1536. Francis, the prince of the arts, was well reseated on his throne; Marot had yet ten years to live ; Rabelais (of an age with him) somewhat more; Ronsard and Du Bellay were boys entering upon their inheritance, Calvin's book was printing, Goujon was in his
And all that time is summed up in this figure, which may be a Magdalen, and which I have therefore called “ The Beauty of this World.”