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St. Anne | Monastyryska


The sculpture comes from the high altar in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Monastyryska. The church was built in 1751. Johann Pinsel created the sculpture in 1761.


The hooded head of the sculpture of St Anne leans towards the right shoulder. The author has expressively and poignantly carved the dress and the wide-brimmed headscarf. He emphasises the geometric shapes of the folds of the garment in a way that they subtly wrap around her body.

Johann Pinsel created the face of the Virgin Mary’s mother to be perceptive and gentle. Her eyelids are flattened, her lips are smiling welcomingly and her veiny neck is strained with enunciation. In her left hand, she is steadily holding the Holy Scriptures. Pinsel has plastically depicted the apocryphal tale of how Anne taught Mary to read. Nowadays the right hand is missing from the sculptural composition.

The author hyperbolised Anne’s appearance: he manifested heavy planes, geometrically impetuous folds and edges. Similar artistic experiments were carried out by artists of later generations: Joseph Csaky (1888-1971), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), Raymond Duchamp-Villon (1876-1918) and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915).

  • St. Anne. 1761.
  • Limewood, polychrome (lost).
  • Size: 185х110х67.
  • Location: The Johann Georg Pinsel Museum in Lviv. LAG inv. no С-1-896.
  • Provenance: The high altar in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Monastyryska, Ternopil region.
  • Literature: Hornung, 1976, p. 44; Lyubchenko, 1967, p. 21-23; Gębarowicz, 1986, p. 24; Voznytsky, Opanasenko, 1988, p. 9; Voznytsky, 1991, p. 111, Ostrowski J. K. Parish Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Monastyryska //Roman Catholic Churches and Monasteries of the Former Ruthenian Voivodeship. Collective work. — Kraków : International Cultural Centre, Drukarnia Narodowa, 1996. — V. 4. — p. 211, il. 402 — (Materials for the History of Sacral Art in the Eastern Territories of the Former Polish Republic Pt. I).