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St. Elizabeth


The sculpture comes from the main altar of the Missionary Fathers’ Church. The church was built during 1745-1769 by Bernard Meretin. The sculpture was designed in 1752-1755.


The composition is characterized by a rhythmic alignment of the folding parts of clothes and cloak and poised wide-opened hands. The dress, cloak and hanging handkerchief are carved flatly and crosswise embracing the female waist. Similar artistic decisions were later observed in the work of Swiss sculptor, painter and graphic artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), as well as in the existential art of French artist Bernard Buffet (1928-1999).

Pinsel, guided by Biblical Apocrypha legend, placed a sculptural composition of St. Elizabeth in front of her aunt, St. Anne. In this work, he depicts the action of the Christian prayer “Rejoice, Mary” in solemn plastic language. Elizabeth’s face has a slightly smiling expression of a hopeful summer woman. Today the sculptural composition only partially conveys the author’s idea: there are no fingers on the right hand and no wrists of the left hand, no book, fragments of the cloak and majestic polychrome are also missing.

Photographs of the early twentieth century indicate that Pinsel created a sculptural composition of St. Elizabeth in the mood of concentrated thought and reflection.

  • St. Elizabeth. 1752-1755.
  • Limewood, relict areas of levkas, lost polychrome.
  • Size: 298.
  • Location: Johann Georg Pinsel Museum in Lviv. LAG inv. no С-1-1633.
  • Provenance: the high altar of the Missionary Fathers’ Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary in Horodenka, Ivano-Frankivsk region.
  • Literature: Mańkowski, 1937, p. 32-33. — Hornung, 1937, p. 52. — Hornung, 1976, p. 75-78, il. 66, 68. — Voznytsky, Opanasenko, 1988, p. 5, № 3 (exhibition catalogue). — Exhibition Catalogue Praha 1989, p. 13, Cat.-Nr. 3. — Exhibition Catalogue Wilanów 1990, p. 18f, Cat.-Nr. 3. — Mieleszko, 1990, p. 57. — Voznytsky, 2007, p. 75, № 40 (catalogue). — Stetsko, 2012, p. 160 (catalogue). — Himmlisch! 2016, p. 126, Cat.-Nr. 2 (catalogue).