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Saint John


The sculpture comes from the High Altar of the All Saints Church in Hodovytsia village. The temple was built during 1745-1769 by the project of an architect Bernard Meretyn. The sculpture was created in the late 1750s, probably in 1757-59.


An energetically rooted figure with symbolically raised hands, pointed-up head, amazed expression on the face. The apparel is carved expressively, plane and geometrically. Draperies’ folds are deep and ribbed, rhythmically alternating. On the hands and torso the clothes are designed in the form of chopped shapes, only on the shins the anatomy of the figure can be seen. Such an approach of the author finds its later expression in the division of forms on spatial constructions of Cubism in the early ХХ century. In this work, Pinsel boldly compares the knotted carved wrists of hands, the skull of the head on the muscular neck and the sharpened feet with the rapid development of the draperies. In order to visualize the conception, the author realistically and in glorious technicolor draws open parts of the body and decorates the robe with gilding. It should be noted that Saint John, in contrast to the widespread images, was created as a beardless man at the age of 40. Considering this, we can assume that this work is a self-portrait of the sculptor.
  • Saint John. Late 1750s.
  • Limewood, polychrome, gilding.
  • Size: 176×125×79.
  • Location: Johann Georg Pinsel Museum in Lviv. LAG inv. no С-1-1627.
  • Provenance: the High Altar of the All Saints Church in Hodovytsia village, Lviv region.
  • Literature: Bochnak, 1931, p. 51-55, 85. — Mańkowski, 1937, p. 35-36, 91, 136-137, il. 2. — Hornung, 1937, p. 29-33, 56, 58, il. 22. — Hornung, 1976, p. 44. — Liubchenko, 1967, p. 21-23. — Gębarowicz, 1986, p. 24. — Voznytsky, Opanasenko, 1988, p. 9, № 27 (exhibition catalogue). — Exhibition Catalogue Praha 1989, p. 16, Cat.-Nr. 32. — Exhibition Catalogue Wilanów 1990, p. 23f, Cat.-Nr. 28. — Mieleszko, 1990, p. 57-60. — Voznytsky, 1991, p. 111. — Exhibition Catalogue Poznań 1993, p. II.49-54, Cat.-Nr. 16c. — Ostrowski, 2000, p. 212, il. 14. — Voznytsky 2007, p. 31, № 15 (catalogue). — Stetsko 2012, p. 159 (catalogue). — Exhibition Catalogue Paris 2012, p. 118-34, Cat.-Nr. 14. — Himmlisch! 2016, p. 128, Cat.-Nr. 13 (catalogue).