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|The Well of Moses|
The next task allotted to the great sculptor, Claus Sluter, was a Calvary, placed in the centre of the cloister. The Calvary was destroyed during the Revolution, but the huge hexagonal base, with its six figures of the Prophets who predicted the Passion, has survived.
It took the form of a fountain and derived from this and from its most prominent personality the name of le Puits de Moise. The figure of Moses is probably Sluter's masterpiece - the face of the man who had beheld the face of God. An odd convention, which owes its origins to the Drame de la Passion of Rouen, provided the forehead of Moses with projections like the first growth of a stag's horns -'cornuta facie'- in an attempt to render in three-dimensional form how 'the skin of his face shone' when he came down from Mount Sinai.
There is an apparent touch of humour in the juxtaposition of Daniel and Isaiah. Daniel turns towards the aged prophet and indicates a phrase on his phylactery, while Isaiah, his regard downcast and discouraged, stands in an attitude of petulant rejection of whatever he is saying.
These statues were originally all coloured and some of them were adorned with ornaments of brass.
On 2 January 1402, Hannequin d'Att, 'goldsmith of Dijon', was paid 4 livres and 10 sols for one 'diadème de cuivre' for the figure of Mary Magdalene and for a 'bésicle'- that is to say, a pair of spectacles - for Jeremiah.