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Sacrifice of Isaak


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.


The sculpture of Abraham is characterized by a submissive tilting of the head, a mournful face with half-closed eyelids, decisively deployed arms, a bare right shoulder with a torn sleeve, and a fencing position of the legs. The sculpture of Isaac is characterized by the questioning inclination of his head, face with eyes wide open, bare shoulders, arms behind the back, and the figure planted on the knees, the right knee is open. The clothes on Abraham are carved with a gradual transition on the figure, showing the anatomical structure of the body. The fabric, which connects the left and the deftly deployed right hand with a sword is dynamically engraved. Such an author’s approach can later be observed in the searches of futurists of the ХХ century, in particular in the works of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla. Isaac’s clothes are very simple, the folds are calm, the cloth lies neatly on the figure of a teenager. In this complicated and tragic composition, Pinsel creates an extraordinary event, matching the energetically engraved figure of Abraham and the humble figure of Isaac. The figure of Abraham is a solid nerve: muscular hands with protruding veins, a crimpy beard, hollows in temples, forehead cut by wrinkles. Isaac instead is calm and immaculate, with curly hair and silky skin. For clarifying the conception, the author protracts open parts of the body and hair in a realistic and multi-colored manner and covers the robe with gilding. The thoroughly crafted face of Isaac suggests that a son of Johann Georg Pinsel — Bernard, who at the time of the creation was almost 7 years old, could be an example for the sculpture. The prototype of the Abraham could be a friend of the sculptor — an architect Bernard Mertyn, who at this time was more than 60 years old.
  • Abraham’s Sacrifice, Abraham’s figure. Late 1750s.
  • Limewood, polychrome, gilding, fabric.
  • Size: 157×120×96.
  • Location: Johann Georg Pinsel Museum in Lviv. LAG inv. no С-1-1176.
  • Provenance: High Altar, All Saints Church, Hodovytsia, Lviv region.
  • Literature: Bochnak, 1931, s. 52. — Mańkowski, 1937, s. 36, 92, il. 64-65. — Hornung, 1937, s. 31-33, 56-57, il. 44. — Hornung, 1976, s. 44-45. — Gębarowicz, 1986, s. 15-16, il. 12, 14. — Возницький, Опанасенко, 1988, с. 10-11, № 29 (каталог виставки). — Каталог виставки Praha 1989, s. 17, Kat.-Nr. 30. — Каталог виставки Wilanów 1990, s. 24f, Kat.-Nr. 30. — Mieleszko, 1990, s. 57-60. — Каталог виставки Poznań 1993, s. II.55-58, Kat.-Nr. 17. — Ostrowski, 2000, s. 212f, il. 14. — Slg.-Kat. Lviv, 2006, c. 116f. — Возницький 2007, с. 22, Nr. 13 (каталог). — Стецько 2012, с. 159 (каталог). — Каталог виставки Paris 2012, s. 118-34, Kat.-Nr. 15. — Himmlisch! 2016, s. 128, Kat.-Nr. 14 (каталог).