List of all exhibits. Click on one of them to go to the exhibit page. The topics allow exhibits to be selected by their concept categories. On the right, you can choose the settings of the list view.

The list below shows links between exhibits in a non-standard way. The points denote the exhibits and the connecting lines are connections between them, according to the selected categories.

Enter the end dates in the windows in order to set the period you are interested in on the timeline.

Views: 5825
(Votes: 2)
The average rating is 5.0 stars out of 5.
Print metrics
Print description

The relief with the scene of Christ’s Prayer in Gethsemane is dated from 1493–1495. It came to the church in Ptaszkowa (erected in 1555), presumably in the first half of the 19th century, where it was also discovered. It is considered to be the handiwork of Veit Stoss.
Today, this sculptor is considered to be the most famous Nuremberg-Kraków artist. He came from Horb am Neckar, situated in the then so-called Further Austria. Born in 1438, he died in 1533, at the age of 95. He created works in the late Gothic style, mainly around religious themes. In 1477, he resigned from Nuremberg citizenship and moved to Kraków – at that time, the capital of the Kingdom of Poland.

more

The relief with the scene of Christ’s Prayer in Gethsemane is dated from 1493–1495. It came to the church in Ptaszkowa (erected in 1555), presumably in the first half of the 19th century, where it was also discovered. It is considered to be the handiwork of Veit Stoss.
Today, this sculptor is considered to be the most famous Nuremberg-Kraków artist. He came from Horb am Neckar, situated in the then so-called Further Austria. Born in 1438, he died in 1533, at the age of 95. He created works in the late Gothic style, mainly around religious themes. In 1477, he resigned from Nuremberg citizenship and moved to Kraków – at that time, the capital of the Kingdom of Poland. The first recorded work by Stoss was the retable, in the most important parish church of the city of Kraków: St. Mary’s Altar. The sculptor also created a monumental stone crucifix in the southern nave of this church. In Poland, Stoss also left behind: the red marble tombstone of King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk in Wawel Cathedral (the Chapel of the Holy Cross), the tombstones of bishops Zbigniew Oleśnicki in Gniezno and Piotr from Bnin in Włocławek, and other retables, not preserved to this day. In 1498, he returned to Nuremberg, where he created his further works.
The relief from Ptaszkowa depicts three figures in a scene of Christ’s Prayer in Gethsemane. The composition is enclosed in the form of a triangle. The figures of two sleeping apostles—St. John and St. Peter – have been placed in the foreground, at the bottom; Christ has been placed in the centre, on an elevation in the background; Jesus is shown from the right profile, as he kneels on the rock with outstretched hands, folded in a gesture of prayer. He is clad in a long, abundant robe. At the bottom, the fabric shows considerable draping, with broken folds; underneath, it is spread in semicircles, with a section arching upwards. In the lower part, on the left, the figure of St. John appears, turned en trois quarts and shown in a sitting position. The saint is supporting his elbows on his thighs; his entwined hands are hanging freely. He is dressed in a long, loose robe and a coat, a heavily draped part of which is wrapped around his left hand, at the height of his chest. St. Peter appears on the right side of the composition, shown en face, in a semi-recumbent position. His head is resting on his left forearm, supported on a rock, while he is holding a cleaver in his right hand, which is hanging down freely. He is lifting his head. Saint Peter is clad in a long, ruffled garment, fastened with a row of buttons at the front, trousers, and a long coat on his shoulders, buttoned at the neck with strongly folding and draped edges.
The loss of wood between the figure of Christ and St. Peter testifies to the incompleteness of the relief. At one time, St. Jacob emerged from behind the right shoulder of St. Peter.   We know this because of a small, visible fragment at the back of the work – which remains from the carving of the head of the apostle – is placed at the same height as the head of the St. Pete in its immediate vicinity, is also missing in the background An image of an angel, that usually appears in the scene, Is also missing in the background.
The relief was made from two pieces of lime wood of similar width, glued edge-to-edge. The connection of these elements runs vertically along Christ’s elbow. The reverse of the relief was carved with a half-round blade chisel, 5.5 cm wide and 3 to 7 cm deep. However, the carving of the relief reaches 10 cm in depth next to the figure of St. John and, in some parts, turns into a full sculpture (for example, the part with heads and hands). This gradation creates the impression of spaciousness, which the sculptor has also intuitively introduced, thanks to the saints presented in foreshortening. The relief figures were rendered very realistically, with detailed elaboration of anatomical parts; their faces display diverse physiognomic types, reflecting their age and character. However, this realism goes hand in hand with the stylisation of forms reflected in the treatment of the garments. The body position of the figures is not readily conspicuous under the cover of abundant and extremely meticulously designed fabrics. However, their strong draping and deeply carved folds adds expression to the whole composition. 
Over St. John’s hands, the fold arrangement of the coat creates the chiaroscuro inscription: “STVOS”. The first three letters – “STV” – emerge on the upper level, below the next two: “O” – forming the sleeve’s hem – and “S” to its right. This constitutes the sculptor’s crypto-signature, which confirms the attribution of the relief to Stoss.
Unfortunately, the lack of sources allows us to consider the primary function, origin, and location of the Ptaszkowa relief only hypothetically. In the 19th century, in Ptaszkowa, this work was a part of the Gethsemane, located in the outer wall of the presbytery. Earlier, however, the relief probably created the quarters of a reredos that is not preserved today, perhaps from the parish church of St. Mary’s in Kraków.
Christ’s Prayer in Gethsemane n from Ptaszkowa underwent conservation in 2002, which was undertaken by Stanisław Stawowiak. Since 2003, this work by Veit Stoss has been deposited at the Regional Museum in Nowy Sącz, where it has enriched the permanent exhibition of guild art. In 2005, the relief was presented at the exhibition entitled, Around Veit Stoss, at the National Museum in Kraków, organized in cooperation with the Nuremberg House in Kraków and the Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg. In September 2011, this work by Veit Stoss was loaned to Berlin for the exhibition entitled Poland – Germany, 1000 years of history in art. The exhibition was prepared by the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin, on the occasion of the first Polish presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Elaborated by Józef Walczyk (Nowy Sącz District Museum), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

Bibliography:
Obok. Polska – Niemcy. 1000 lat historii w sztuce, ed. Omilanowska Małgorzata, Kraków 2011;
Stawowiak Magdalena, Modlitwa Chrystusa w Ogrojcu, [in:] Wokół Wita Stwosza, catalog of the exhibition at the National Museum in Kraków, ed. Horzela Dobrosława, Organisty Adam, Krystyna Stefaniak, Kraków 2005, p. 70-75;
Stawowiak Magdalena, Późnogotycki drewniany Ogrojec w kościele Wszystkich Świętych w Ptaszkowej – Domniemane Dzieło Wita Stwosza, “Folia Historiae Artium”, 10 (2006), p. 89–114;
Stawowiak Stanisław, Dokumentacja konserwatorska Modlitwy w Ogrojcu, Nowy Sącz 2003.

less

In Veit Stoss’s Gethsemane

The depiction of Christ in Gethsemane appeared three times in the works currently attributed to Veit Stoss. The theme itself is one of the scenes in the iconography of the Passion. It was widely used in the 2nd half of the 15th century in the art of South Germany. This event was described in the gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke. Christ is shown praying in Gethsemane (the olive garden) at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, accompanied by three sleeping apostles: St. John, St. Peter, and St. James.

more

The depiction of Christ in Gethsemane appeared three times in the works currently attributed to Veit Stoss. The theme itself is one of the scenes in the iconography of the Passion. It was widely used in the 2nd half of the 15th century in the art of South Germany. This event was described in the gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke. Christ is shown praying in Gethsemane (the olive garden) at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, accompanied by three sleeping apostles: St. John, St. Peter, and St. James. According to one of the versions:

Bas-relief  Prayer in the Olive Garden , Veit Stoss, 1485-1490, NationalMuseum in Kraków, source: Ludwig Schneider / WikimediaCC BY-SA 3.0 EN

“He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he told them, «Pray that you may not fall into temptation.» Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, «Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me — nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.» Then an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. Being in anguish, he prayed more fervently, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he got up from prayer and came to the disciples, he found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief.” (Luke 22:39-45)
 

According to the words mentioned above, the angel was with a cup of bitterness symbolizing passion, and the Eucharist was usually shown in front of Christ. There are also versions with a group of angels holding the tools of the Passion (arma christi). In the 14th and 15th centuries, God the Father was also shown, however, less frequently. The staffage could also be supplied by a representation of Judas heading for the garden with a group of armed men, since the scene following the Prayer in the Olive Garden was the scene of the Capture of Christ.
Among Stoss’s depictions of this scene, only the bas-relief from Ptaszkowa was carved in wood; the remainder were carved in stone. It is also an intermediate step between the Kraków and Nuremberg period of the sculptor's work, when individual compositional elements and his treatment of space had changed.
The first and the earliest bas-relief of Gethsemane is located in Kraków and was attributed to the Master, based on the stylistic features, dated to 1485–1490, and the work from Ptaszkowa was compared with it. The second relief is located in St. Sebaldus’s Church in Nuremberg and the central part of the triptych of the epitaph of Paul Volckamer from 1499. It is signed with the Stoss house mark and his encrypted signature.

The Cracovian bas-relief has an elaborated background, in contrast with the work from Ptaszkowa, which is devoid of it. The Cracovian work demonstrates the rocky landscape of Gethsemane, in a conventionally treated perspective. In its right-hand upper corner, there is a depiction of Judas approaching with a group of armed men, and Jerusalem appears in the distance. Often, the similarity of the landscape form in this relief to Stoss’s engraving, Raising of St. Lazarus [Wskrzeszenie św. Łazarza], is emphasized. Christ is not evidently elevated above the apostles, whose characters, in a reversed position compared to the work from Ptaszkowa (St. John on the right, St. Peter on the left side of the relief), surround him in the shape of a wreath. The multitude and meticulousness of motifs; abundant, crumpled robes; and piled-up rocks, to a large extent fill the space of the bas-relief, showing that it was treated in decorative categories. It also lacks the strong tension that characterizes the Master’s works. The composition of the bas-relief from Ptaszkowa was derived directly from this depiction. However, the concept of capturing the whole and linking elements of the composition has changed. The figure of Christ, situated on a large rock, was elevated above the disciples, who — sleeping in the foreground — constitute a visual basis for Jesus. At the same time, the figures of the apostles were separated from the previously dense group and shown individually s. Clearing a multitude of elements from the compositions calmed the space, and allowed the creation of a greater degree of emotional tension and psychological depth to the individual characters. The sculptor resigned from focusing on detail and switched to concentrating on the overall idea and capturing the whole scene. Heavy robes are no longer so densely draped over the whole surface, but rather the folds are concentrated on particular fragments, especially at the edges of the fabrics, which made the layout of the figures more conspicuous. In the bas-relief from Ptaszkowa — in which a background is absent — space is felt through other elements of the work. First of all, thanks to the figures of the apostles, depicted in the foreground and shown in foreshortening perspective (almost frontally) and the hollow, strongly chiaroscuro, relief (in several spots turning into full sculpture), we have the impression of extraordinary depth. The anatomical elements of the figures — faces and hands — were very precisely sculpted and presented with full realism, as was the decoratively treated and styled hair. In the work from Ptaszkowa, Stoss’s new compositions were initiated. These were developed in the Nuremberg relief. The Gethsemane, from Volckamer’s epitaph, is depicted in a mirror image of the two previous ones. Equally, previously used compositional and formal solutions have been applied to it in the most mature expression. This can be observed in the solution of the background issue, which was shown with a great understanding of space, divided into parts. The composition, in spite of using many components, is far more readable than in the Cracovian work.  
All those bas-reliefs are the subsequent stages on the artistic path of Veit Stoss. In these artistic works, a departure away from meticulousness and emphasis on the formal components of the sculptures was increasingly manifested. Nevertheless, the sculptures by Stoss — which are so close to realism — still could not escape the feature of decorativeness, placing itself between these two tendencies.
Stoss’s depiction of Gethsemane — especially in the scope of composition — did not differ from those of German painting in the 2nd half of the 15th century. Works by Hans Pleydenwurff from the Church of St. Michael in Hof have been compared with Modlitwa w Ogrójcu. The engravings by Martin Schongauer and Monogramist A, were undoubtedly the source of inspiration for the sculptor, from which he derived individual themes.

The scope of the impact of Veit Stoss’s sculpture on Lesser Poland is a completely different matter. However, several representations of Cracovian workshops, directly referring to the model developed by Stoss, can be mentioned. A work which is a compilation of elements from the sculptor's various realizations is Triptych of Crucifixion [Triptych Ukrzyżowania], the so-called Olbracht Triptych, produced between 1501 and 1505, located in one of the chapels of Wawel Cathedral. His creator used the compositional pattern of bas-relief on one of the wings of the triptych with the scene Modlitwa Chrystusa w Ogrójcu, from the works by Stoss mentioned above. Peculiar parallels refer to the master’s work from Kraków. However, in this realization, the arrangement of the characters has been changed a little. Furthermore, in the Church of St. Jan Kanty in Stryszów, there is a bas-relief which is almost an identical copy of Stoss’s composition, dated to around 1500. This relief is characterized by certain innovations (e.g. Christ facing away en trois quarts not profiled), indicating a lack of passive repetition.
The work of Stoss was copied not only in the local environment, but also in the entire community of Central European sculptors. In the productions of the workshops of Lesser Poland, which were created after Stoss’s departure to Nuremberg (1496), there were many formal connections to his Cracovian works. They contain numerous borrowings and elements, which had been varied within the scope of interpretation of the theme and composition, often used without much understanding.

See also: The Gethsemane Chapel at St. Barbara Church in Krakow.

 

Elaborated byPaulina Kluz (Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Bibliography:
Zdzisław Kępiński, Wit Stwosz, Warszawa 1981;
Pismo Święte Starego i Nowego Testamentu, Poznań 2003 [access: 02.2015];
Piotr Skubiszewski, Wit Stwosz, Warszawa 1985;
Wit Stwosz w Krakowie, red. Lech Klinowski, Franciszek Stolot, Kraków 1987;
Wokół Wita Stwosza, katalog wystawy w Muzeum Narodowym w Krakowie, red. nauk. Dobrosława Horzela, Adam Organisty, Kraków 2005.

less

Relief “Agony in the Garden” by Veit Stoss from church of All Saints in Ptaszkowa

Pictures

Links

INTERPRETATIONS

Game


Recent comments

Add comment: