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Crucifix from the Church of St. Martin

History of creation

The sculpture comes from the side altar of the Church of St. Martin by the monastery of the Order of Carmelites in Lviv. The temple was built during 1736-1753. According to Zbigniew Gornung’s assumption, the monastery is considered to be a work of the architect Bernard Meretin. The sculpture was created in 1758-1759.

Description of the sculpture:

Definitive are the exhausted by torture and the passion body, stiff and breathless face, saggy fibrous hands with stiffened vessels, curved edges of the bandages on Christ’s thighs. Hanging hands and body and twisted legs are carved linearly and profoundly, focusing on Jesus’ head wounded by a wreath of thorns. The Spanish Baroque sculptor Juan de Mesa y Velasco comprehended the crucifixion in a similar way (1583–1627). In this work, Pinsel is extremely focused on the embodiment of the image of the suffering body, the vessels wrapped around stiffened in tension wrists and feet, swollen ribs stopped by the last exhalation. The master creates the image of a frozen body and silence, only cut through the whisper of the Palestinian wind, conveyed in the shaking of lace hair and Christ’s trembling loincloths. To sharpen the image Pinsel realistically draws blood drops, paints open body parts in pale pink and decorates a crown of thorns and a bandage in gilding. It is necessary to pay attention to the similarity of plastic modelling of figures of the crucified Christ, made out of wood, and the St. Onuphrius, made out of stone. In both works, there are consonant exhausted bodies, wrinkles on the forehead, the shape of the nose, lace hair, anatomical structure of the legs and other details. They were created at the end of Pinsel’s creative path. It is also possible to notice that sculpture of young Saint John has similar features to the older face of Jesus here. Perhaps the sculptor depicted himself in this work.
  • Crucifix. 1758-1759.
  • Limewood, levkas, polychrome, gilding, height 165.
  • Size: 165.
  • Current location: Andrey Sheptystky National Museum in Lviv, ЛНМ № С-360.
  • Provenance: side altar of the Church of St. Martin in Lviv.
  • Literature: Bochnak, 1931, p. 38-44, il. 35. — Mańkowski, 1937, p. 85, il. 56. — Gębarowicz, 1986, p. 40-41, il. 17. — Voznytsky, Opanasenko, 1988, p. 8, № 18 (exhibition catalogue). — Exhibition Catalogue Praha 1989, p. 15, Cat.-Nr. 23. — Exhibition Catalogue Wilanów 1990, p. 26, Cat. – Nr. 34. — Mieleszko, 1990, p. 61. — Exhibition Catalogue Poznań 1993, p. II.59, Cat.-Nr. 18. — Voznytsky, 2007, p. 113, № 65 (catalogue). — Stetsko, 2012, p 162 (catalogue).— Himmlisch! 2016, p. 130, Cat.-Nr. 22 (catalogue)