Charles IV’s Intestines

This gorgeous pair of tomb decorations did not guard a whole body, but just the intestines! Both Charles IV and his wife eventually had their intestines buried under this pair.

This gorgeous pair of funerary monuments represent Charles IV of France and his wife. They now live at the Louvre. The pair, however, never guarded an entire body, rather they sat above just the intestines! It was a common medieval practice to split a ruler’s body across several locations, according to my audio guide. It may just apply to France or only specific eras of rulers. I will investigate or dredge the depths of my brain and see what I find. The heart would often be buried near where he died. In general the multiple locations provided multiple options for veneration of the dead ruler. The sacks that each of them hold in their hand are for the intestines. Note how the statues, though lying down, stylistically don’t really accomodate that position in the folds of their clothing.


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