Monday, December 16, 2013

Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc)


Jeanne d’Arc, better known as “Joan of Arc” was born around 1412 in the small town of Domremy in France. By the time she was twelve, she began to experience visions in which various saints would appear to her and instruct her to drive out the English from her country and restore the French Dauphin to the throne of France. At age sixteen she petitioned Count Robert de Baudricourt for an audience before the French court, to which she was denied. Persistently, she returned months later for a second time before Baudricourt and made a prediction about the military situation in Orléans. Once this was confirmed, she was granted permission to visit the royal court.

After making the journey disguised as a man, She left a great impression on Charles VII, who agreed to allow her to travel with the army. While initially left out of war counsels and operations, she soon gained popularity and came to lead the French army in many victories. She frequently defied the orders of her superiors and went on to lead assaults against the English. It was during one of these battles that she took an arrow wound in her shoulder.

After the unexpected victory in Orléans, Jeanne asked for and was given co-command of the army and instructions to recapture bridges along the Loire by the Dauphin. This resulted in a series of victories that led to the coronation of Charles VII. However, the fighting continued on and while losing a battle in Compiegne Jeanne ordered a retreat. Being one of the last to leave the battlefield, Joan was captured by Burgandians. Her family unable to secure funds to pay the ransom for her, and the newly-crowned French king refusing to intervene on her behalf, Jeanne was soon purchased by her English enemies.

Her trial was more political than anything else, and the verdict was pre-determined. Unable to charge her with anything except heresy, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. On May 30, 1431, the nineteen year old Jeanne was led to the place of execution and secured to a stake to be burned as a heretic. She repeatedly called out for the aid of Jesus and the Saints as the flames approached her. Her ashes were scattered into the Seine. After the war ended, her case was retried after her execution by order of Pope Callixtus III. On July 7, 1456 she was declared innocent.


Our version of Jeanne d’Arc’s execution depicts the unfortunate girl during her horrific ordeal at the stake. The wooden base measures 9” wide and 11” deep and the entire piece stands approx. 15” tall.

The doll is shown in a freshly-burned state, with scorched blood and muscle exposed. Her hair has been closely cropped and burned, and melting flesh and fat are visible throughout her body. Jeanne is surrounded by the charred wood, as it took three lightings of the pyre to completely reduce her body to ashes. The wood is mounted on a fabric backing to allow the red light to shine through when the lamp is plugged in.

The back of the piece is left open for east access to change bulbs as needed. Uses a standard-sized indoor christmas tree bulb. (Bulb is included) This lamp is for decorative purposes and should not be left unattended when plugged in.

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