Thursday, December 1, 2011

Unearthed internets: The Mourners

The Mourners is a traveling exhibit of small-scale, alabaster statues of robed mourners from the tomb of Duke of Burgundy Philip the Bold, 1342-1404, that I visited recently at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco. Those in the SF Bay Area or those near Richmond, VA (the last stop on the tour) may want to consider seeing it in person as well, but for everyone else the exhibit is also online at and the online presentation is generous and skillfully done.

In addition to viewing full screen rotating models online you can save hi-res stills of the images. Hopefully the exhibit will remain online after the tour ends (April 15, 2012), but in the meantime I think I’ll take the precaution and save some pics for reference. Can’t say enough how cool it is to be able to do that (and not have it all baked in Flash). There's also quite a bit of contextual material for those interested in delving into the art and the history.

While there is a lot to appreciate about the figures in terms these aspects, the art and the relation to history, this being a game blog I’ll let you explore those at the exhibit site if you’re interested and keep the commentary here along games and miniatures lines—along the lines of, for instance, how they would make a fantastic line of miniatures or at the very least great reference material for cloaks, cowls and drapery in general, and how a tomb with diminutive free standing statues is surely going to wind up in my D&D campaign in one form or another.

As to the first idea,the obvious place to take this is a range of cultists or clerics. Time being what it is, with my list of open projects a scroll reaching the floor and rolling along it some ways, I probably won't be the one to take up that challenge, so if any others want to, by all means. Meanwhile I would settle for the chance to incorporate some aspect of these figures in any one sculpture of my own.

And as for details of how to use the tomb in your game, I won't reveal any details just yet as I flatter myself to think some of my players read this blog but DM's should have a look at the tomb setup on the exhibit site and you shouldn't have to think too hard for a devious trap or puzzle idea to step forward. And if I do put it in the campaign I may come back after the party encounters it.

Btw, the tag "Unearthed Internets" is simply me linking you to something cool that isn't breaking news or part of the blogosphere and giving you a means to see a list of those links. Like nearly all bloggers I'll link you to cool news too but as the name suggests this feature is (mostly) about digging up gems that may have gotten buried, such as forum threads or sites off the beaten path.