The article „From Świdnica to Bratislava: the sculpture of Christ the Saviour from the collection of the Slovak National Gallery” written by Dr Artur Kolbiarz from the Institute of Arts Studies at the University of Silesia in Katowice, was published in the prestigious journal „Muzeológia a kultúrne dedičstvo”, issued by the Department of Philosophy and History of Philosophy at the Comenius University in Bratislava.
The publication was awarded 200 points on the ministerial list and is available in the Repository of the University of Silesia (RE-BUŚ): rebus.us.edu.pl.
| Dr Artur Kolbiarz |
The study discusses one of the most outstanding works of Silesian Baroque – Jesus Christ the Saviour figure, which is at present part of the collection of the National Gallery in Bratislava, carved in 1702 by Georg Leonhard Weber (approx. 1672-1739), an artist from Świdnica. The sculpture, which until now has been almost completely forgotten and ignored by the researchers, was made as the so-called showpiece by the young master, soon after he began his professional career as an artist. Due to this, not only does it present an exceptionally high level of performance, but also has an exposed artist’s signature, which provided him with appropriate self-promotion.
A significant part of the article was dedicated to reconstruction of the formal genesis which formed the basis for the concept of the sculpture in Bratislava. It shows both the Antique inspirations, known to the artist through contemporary graphic works, and the influence of local sculptors, particularly Johann Riedl, a Jesuit educated in Lyon and Paris, among other places. In the case of the statue in Bratislava, a small sketch, the so-called bozzetto, sculpted in terracotta, demonstrating the original artistic idea, made before the full-scale sculpture, was also successfully found (in the collection of Silesian Museum in Opava). The fact that both the sketch and the final work have been preserved to our times is a rarity when it comes to modern sculpture in Silesia.
The further part of the article also presents a big collection of later works by Weber and others sculptors from his circle, who went on to develop the concepts reflected in the statue from the gallery in Bratislawa in a creative way. The reconstruction of both the formal genesis of Saviour’s sculpture and its impact on the art of the region, which included e.g. works stored in galleries and museums in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland, apart from the purely scientific importance, may serve as an excellent pretext for international exhibition projects. The works discussed in the article may potentially become a highlight of many exhibitions dedicated to the problems of artistic creation, which are still in fashion.