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- Date of production ca. 1510–1520
- Place of creation Kraków, Poland
- Dimensions height: 122 cm, width: 65 cm
- ID no. 752/I
- Object copyright Cardinal Karol Wojtyła Archdiocesan Museum in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
The painting was created on a rectangular board, closed from above by an ogee arch and encompassed with small pillars. The standing figure of John the Merciful has been placed in the background, pressed in the mortar (silvering and glaze with the motif of an outgrowing acanthus plant twine).more
The painting was created on a rectangular board, closed from above by an ogee arch and encompassed with small pillars. The standing figure of John the Merciful has been placed in the background, pressed in the mortar (silvering and glaze with the motif of an outgrowing acanthus plant twine). He is dressed in a white robe, brown cape, wide-brimmed hat, and, in his left hand, he is holding a patriarchal cross and an open purse. Saint John is surrounded by four small figures of disabled beggars, to whom he passes a coin taken from the purse.
The painting with St. John the Merciful was the central part of the capstone of the altar, but the iconography of the entire altar was not devoted to it. Probably, in the 18th century, the entire lost altarpiece (or only this finial) was transferred to the church of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Racławice Olkuskie from another temple. Perhaps it is a painting from the altar that used to be in St. Mary’s Church in Kraków (in 1521, the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Merciful was recorded), which was brought to Racławice, after replacing the local equipment with new altar settings in the 1740s.
The presented portrayal has many analogies to the middle image of the polyptych, with the legend of St. John the Merciful, originally found in the Lanckorona Chapel in the cloister of the Augustinian Church in Kraków (currently at the National Museum in Kraków, Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace) and with the masterpieces of the Master of the Mary Family (the altar in Dębno Podhalańskie).
Elaborated by Cardinal Karol Wojtyła Archdiocesan Museum in Kraków, editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved