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Saint Nicholas lived at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries and was the bishop of the city of Mira (in the southern part of Asia Minor), which is why he is  presented iconographically in garments and with insignia corresponding to his episcopal rank (compare with the figure of Saint Nicholas in the Triptych of Saint Mary Magdalene from Moszczenica Niżna near Stary Sącz).

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The figure is cut at the back and deeply hollowed (wall sculpture). Saint Nicholas is presented frontally, with a slightly arched silhouette, tilted to the side. Neither forearm of the statue, unfortunately, have survived, but we can guess that, according to his iconography, he could have held a crosier in his right hand, and, perhaps, a book with three spheres in the left . He has an oval face with shallowly carved features and a simple profile of a big nose, surrounded by a grey beard with a textured structure. The sides of the face are covered with hair strongly twisted in curls. Tehere is a mitre on his head with lappets falling onto the shoulders. The saint is wearing episcopal attire; at the bottom, there is a visible fragment of an abundantly draped white alb and of a slightly shorter yellow surplice. On top of these, a red chasuble has been placed with a characteristic 14th century (around 1400) cut; its width reaches the elbows, and the vestment features a column with a cross, with diagonally raised arms. The fabric fits tightly to the body in the manner of wet garments, reflecting the silhouette's posture; it is draped in four bowl-shaped folds at the front, while, at shoulder height, it is draped in cascades.
Saint Nicholas lived at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries and was the bishop of the city of Mira (in the southern part of Asia Minor), which is why he is  presented iconographically in garments and with insignia corresponding to his episcopal rank (compare with the figure of Saint Nicholas in the Triptych of Saint Mary Magdalene from Moszczenica Niżna near Stary Sącz).
All that we know concerning the history of the statue is that, in 1748, it was still in the parish church in Pcim, in the district of Myślenice.
In a study entitled, Lesser Polish medieval sculpture (Małopolska rzeźba średniowieczna) (1300–1450), Józef Edward Dutkiewicz classifies the sculpture of the saint bishop in Pcim to the "Krakow type"—a group distinguished by him. This type shows some references to earlier French and Swabian sculptures, and has analogies in Bohemian and Silesian sculpture. The sculpture is associated with  14th century Silesian art, even exhibiting some stylistic references to a series of monumental statues of the apostles from the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Wrocław. On the other hand, the influences of the international style are clearly visible in its form, such as the bending of the figure, slenderness, the characteristic folds of the garments of undoubtedly Bohemian provenience, strongly influencing the Krakow environment.
 

Elaborated by Bożena Kobiałka (Museum of Independence in Myślenice), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Sculpture “St. Nicholas”

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Rzeźba „Św. Mikołaj” Tells: Piotr Krasny
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Rzeźba „Św. Mikołaj” [audiodeskrypcja] Tells: Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Audiodeskrypcji KATARYNKA
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