The sculpture comes from the high altar of the Missionary Fathers’ Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary in Horodenka. The church was built during 1745-1769 according to Bernard Meretyn’s design. The sculpture was created between 1752 and 1755.
Characteristic features of the sculpture include vertical curved folds of the garment and the himation, as well as vigorously turned torso. The chiton and mantle are carved clearly, sharply and linearly, emphasising the inner sacrifice and courage of St Joseph. Similar artistic experiments with lines and contours, physical dramatism and twisted curves are later seen in the creative legacy of the Austrian painter and graphic artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918).
In this work, Pinsel depicts the tense moment when St. Joseph reflects on his choice to be the faithful and obedient guardian of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Sadly, today this unrivalled sculptural composition is missing the face, hands, metal lily and fragments of the mantle.
Early twentieth-century photographs show that Pinsel carved the hands expressively and intensively. On St Joseph’s emotional face, the master depicted sacramental ardour and sacral contemplation.
- St. Joseph. 1752-1755.
- Limewood, relic areas of the levkas, lost polychrome.
- Size: 225.
- Location: Johann Georg Pinsel Museum in Lviv. LAG inv. no С-1-1634.
- Provenance: the high altar of the Missionary Fathers’ Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary in Horodenka, Ivano-Frankivsk region.
- Literature: Literature: Mańkowski, 1937, p. 32. — Hornung, 1937, p. 72, il. 63. — Hornung, 1976, p. 72, il.63. — Voznytsky, Opanasenko, 1988, p. 5, № 4 (exhibition catalogue; mistakenly identified as Saint John). — Voznytsky 2007, p. 73, № 38 (catalogue; mistakenly identified as Saint John).