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Feretron is a special type of paintings or sculptures with saints' that were used not only during the procession in church celebrations, but also as portable altars during pilgrimages.

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A late Baroque wooden procession float, with rich bas-relief and polychrome, from the late 17th or early 18th century. On the reverse side of the oval there is a representation of the Madonna shown in a richly draped, silver-plated and gilded robe, holding the infant in her right arm. At the foot of Mary kneel four figures dressed in brown habits, with hooded heads, and hands folded in prayer. Mary and the baby Jesus bestow rosaries unto the monks. It happened that the depictions on the procession floats featured scenes showing the gift of the rosary to the members of confraternities of the Rosary It is not known exactly whether the kneeling figures are actually nuns or members of some fraternity. A wreath was placed around the oval containing the figures, additionally decorated with acanthus leaves, having an additional decorative element in the form of four half-naked putti arranged symmetrically on both sides of the wreath. The upper pair of putti lifts a golden crown. The reverse of the procession float is an oval cartouche, painted in blue with the visible gold initial of Mary. It is surrounded by a wreath of colourful flowers and a wreath of acanthus leaves in gold and silver. The base of the procession float is also a bas-relief, with a gold cartouche in the middle and holes for wooden poles.

Elaborated by the Museum — Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and Lipowiec Castle, © all rights reserved

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Feretron

Feretron (a procession float) derives from the Greek pheretron, meaning “litter” (in Latin feretrum — litter, bier, stretcher). It is an object akin to a stretcher, often with additional rods, formerly used in ancient Greece to carry the statues of deities.
Feretron is a term applied to a special type of paintings or sculptures depicting the images of saints, set on special platform, which were once used in processions during ecclesiastical ceremonies and also as a portable altar during pilgrimages.

more

Feretron (a procession float) derives from the Greek pheretron, meaning “litter” (in Latin feretrum — litter, bier, stretcher). It is an object akin to a stretcher, often with additional rods, formerly used in ancient Greece to carry the statues of deities.
Feretron is a term applied to a special type of paintings or sculptures depicting the images of saints, set on special platform, which were once used in processions during ecclesiastical ceremonies and also as a portable altar during pilgrimages.
In contrast to Western Europe, in Poland, feretrons were mostly paintings and reliefs placed on a special platform, into which wooden rods were inserted for the purpose of carrying them.
During the Middle Ages, feretrons, similar to flags and banners, were owned by brotherhoods and craftsmen’s guilds. Nowadays, feretrons are mostly owned by church associations and clubs which operate in parishes.

Elaborated by Museum – Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and Lipowiec Castle, © all rights reserved

See feretrons from the Małopolska’s Virtual Museums collection:
Procession float, obverse: “Heart of Our Lady”, reverse: “Heart of Jesus”
Wooden feretrum
Feretory depicting St. Anne and Christ crowned

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Wooden feretrum

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Audio

Feretron drewniany [audiodeskrypcja] Tells: Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Audiodeskrypcji KATARYNKA
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Feretron drewniany Tells: Krystyna Czerni
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