Bulletin du Musée National de Varsovie — 22.1981

Page: 27
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1 cm
Władysław Łoś


The bronze statuę of Christ (figs. 1—2) in the National Museum in Warsaw is a work by the
famous Netheilands sculptor Adrian de Vries (1545—1626). The authorship is testified by
the signature ADRIANUS FRIES HAGENSIS FICIT (sic!) incised together with the date
1604 on the side wali of the rectangular resting-plate.

The statuę was originally loeated in the parish church of St. Trinity at Żórawina (germ. Roth-
siirben, Rotbach), a village in the environs of Wrocław. It was placcd on the stonc wali me-
moriał erected for Adam Hannewaldt, who was the heir of Żórawina and the councillor to the
emperor Rudolf II Habsburg. The erection of the memoriał, dedicated to the donor and his
wife Catherina, was carried out during the full-scale renovation of the church, when the build-
ing was being adopted to the needs of the Lutheran rite1. The memoriał has remained at the
east wali of the church choir, on the right-hand side of the high altar (fig. 3).

The statuę is 1.25 m. tali. Christ, naked exept for a loin-cloth, stays in the studied contrapposto,
with his left leg weighted down, the right one bent, poscd and crossing the other.

The principal composition scheme of the figurę is the extended helix, which, depending on
the angle runs through the head, torso, and the left or the right leg.

The slight lean of the figurc to the right is balanccd by the crossed hands protruding to the left.

The statuę originally constituted the central piece of the memoriał. Since it was loeated in
front of the high marble corinthian column it constituted the main part of the devotional image
of Christ at the Column (figs. 2—3).

Although the statuę has been rather extensively disputed in the past, the problem of the
origin of its format does not seem to be solved in a satisfactory manner. One of the reasons
is that the students hitherto concerned with the subject have treated the bronze statuę inde-
pendently from the stone architectural structure of the monument. Their main concern was
not the monument, but the artists who created it. In fact, the architeeture and the stone sculp-
ture of the memoriał have not been made by Adrian de Vries, but by Gerhard Heinrick of Amster-
dam, a sculptor of Dutch origin, active at that time in Wrocław2. Moreover, the whole memoriał
has been dated to 1608 i.e. four years later than the statuę. The known written sources have
contributed to the confusion, suggesting that the statuę was formerly a part of a bigger, now
dismembered group of sculptures.

Hans Lutsch was the first to mention the Hannewaldt memoriał and the Christ statuę in
his inventory of Silesian monuments3. He quoted the report prepared in 1654 by the diocesan
comrnittee, which on the order of the emperor Ferdinand III had been taking over evangelical
churches in Silesia. The report contained the description of the church at Żórawina, which

* The present article is an excerpt from my master thesis on Hannewaldt memoriał, prepared in the years 1978—19791
at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Mikołaj Kopernik TJniversity in Toruń, under the Bupervision of professor Zygmunt Waź-
bińaki, to whom I owe my permanent gratitude.

1. The memoriał belongs to the type calłed in Polish and German „epitaph". See: P. Schoenen, , ,Epitaph", Reallexifcon
zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, V, Stuttgart, 1958, col. 872—921.

2. The provenience of the monument from Heinricfs workshop was stated for the first time by Franz Landsberger in his-
article „Die Kanzel der Oelser Schlosskirehe", Schlesiens Yarzeit, N.F. X, 1933, p. 105—106. This has been backed up
by Roman Kołakowski, Gerhard Heinrich z Amsterdamu — problemy atrybucji, M.A. thesis, mses, Toruń, 1978—1979.
I give more arguments on the same subject in my thesis — see note 1.

3 H. Lutsch, Kunstdenkmałer Schlesiens, II, Breslau, 1889, p. 451.

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