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Saint Felix with the Infant Jesus
(Saint Anthony of Padua)

History of creation

The sculpture comes from the wooden church of St. Anthony of Padua at the ancient monastery of the Capuchin Fathers, since 1783 – the Monastery of the Sisters of Mercy in Mariampil. The temple was built in the first half of 1740s. The sculpture was probably created in the early 1750s.

Description of the sculpture:

The sculptural composition is calm, static and balanced. It is characterized by insignificant turn and bend of monk’s waist with confidently bent arms under the figure of a child, St. Anthony’s head is tilted respectfully and affably. The monk’s сassock is carved out in a generalized, reserved and concise manner. The rope belt with a knot hangs motionlessly. The palms of the saint are covered with strained vessels and have grotesquely long fingers. His opened feet are wearing monk sandals. The child has a smiling face; with his left hand, he plays with the ruffled beard of St. Anthony. This method of depicting the Saint is not canonical. Perhaps this episode Pinsel noticed at the end of 1752 when his son was held at the baptism by Bernard Meretyn. In this work, Pinsel consciously holds back his expressive carving style, which is still stored in the plastic of the head, arms and legs. The sculptural composition reproduces humility, asceticism, tenderness, guardianship and charity. The body of the child is carved carefully, without unnecessarily convex forms and quite discreetly. Probably, according to a very strict statute, these were the requirements for the master from the capuchin fathers upon concluding the agreement. Taking into account the regularities of the formation of altars in the churches, we can say that Pinsel was supposed to create several more sculptures for the church at the monastery of the Capuchin Fathers, the fate of which is unknown today.
  • Saint Felix with infant Jesus (St. Anthony of Padua). Beginning of the 1750s.
  • Limewood, levkas, white paint,.
  • Size: 81x53x35.
  • Current location: The Johann Georg Pinsel Museum in Lviv (Borys Voznytsky Lviv National Art Gallery) ЛГМ № С-1-432
  • Provenance: wooden church of St. Anthony of Padua at the ancient monastery of the Capuchin Fathers, since 1783 – the Monastery of the Sisters of Mercy in Mariampil, Ivano-Frankivsk region.
  • Literature: Hornung, 1976, p. 122, il. 96; Voznytsky, Opanasenko, 1988, p. 11 (exhibition catalogue). — Exhibition Catalogue Praha 1989, p. 18, Cat.-Nr. 39. — Exhibition Catalogue Wilanów 1990, ps. 28f, Cat.-Nr. 42. — Exhibition Catalogue Poznań 1993, p. II.82f, Cat.-Nr. 26. — Betlej 2002, p. 246. — Voznytsky 2007, p. 99, Nr. 58 (catalogue). — Stetsko 2012, p. 161 (catalogue). — Exhibition Catalogue Paris 2012, p. 136, Cat.-Nr. 22. — Himmlisch! 2016, p. 129, Cat.-Nr. 20 (catalogue).