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International Exhibition „The Mysticism of Baroque Sculpture: Johann Georg Pinsel and other 18th-century Lviv Masters“

16 February–29 May 2022
Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

This exhibition presents a unique phenomenon of late Baroque sculpture that existed in the territory of Western Ukraine. The work of the genius sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel (ca 1720?–1761?), so enshrouded in mystery, is deservedly considered the peak of late Baroque sculpture in the Lviv region, while the artist himself is viewed as the last, great late Baroque creator in Europe. However, it should be added that similar, highly dramatic and hyperbolised forms and expressive drapery in sculpture existed there both before Pinsel and after his time. Thus, we can certainly talk of several generations of masters who unified the unique stylistics in late Baroque sculpture coming from Lviv and the surrounding area.

Twenty impressive wooden sculptures are on display at the exhibition, most of them featuring gilding, created from the first half to the end of the 18th century. Alongside works by Johann Georg Pinsel, pieces by other famous masters are also presented, including Antoni Osiński (mentioned in 1747–1764), Jan Obrocki (mentioned in 1756–1794) and Franciszek Oleński (mentioned in 1771–1792), as well as some by unknown sculptors from that time that reflect the drama and mysticism of sculpture originating in Lviv. The sculptures were created for and adorned churches in Ivano-Frankivsk (known as Stanyslaviv up to 1962), Susidovychi, Busk, Berestechko, Navariya, Hodovytsia, Horodenka, Lopatyn and Mariyampil.

 All of the sculptures appearing in this exhibition are today part of the collections of the Borys Voznytsky Lviv National Art Gallery. During the tragic years under Soviet occupation, many of the Catholic churches and other shrines in Western Ukraine were closed, ravaged or even demolished, while the art treasures within were plundered or destroyed. That which managed to be salvaged and is on display in the exhibition is the merit of courageous Ukrainian museologists. One figure who is merited most for seeking to save from destruction the work of Pinsel and other talented late Baroque sculptors was the long-serving director of the Lviv National Art Gallery, Borys Voznytsky (Woźnicki, 1929–2012) – a legendary Lviv museologist, Ukrainian hero and genuine friend of Lithuania. Today, the gallery in Lviv has been named after Borys Voznytsky, while a museum featuring the saved works of Pinsel and other 18th-century Lviv sculptors has been opened at the Lviv Clarisses convent Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, constructed in the mid-18th century. A number of the treasures being displayed at the Vilnius exhibition are kept in the Borys Voznytsky Lviv National Art Gallery collections storage spaces, housed in the Oles'k Clarisses convent and church. Some of the sculptures were restored especially for the Vilnius exhibition and are being shown to the public for the first time.

This international exhibition is dedicated to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the city of Vilnius, and not merely by coincidence. Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was also an important European centre for late Baroque art in the 18th century. There is even mention of a unique and influential Vilnius late Baroque school. However, unlike Lviv, Vilnius was noted foremost for its original and prized late Baroque architecture, whose flourishing was mostly influenced by the talented architect Johann Christoph Glaubitz (ca 1700? –1767). Thus, the exhibition of works by the ingenious late Baroque sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel and his contemporaries from the Lviv region, organised in Vilnius, a city known for its late Baroque architecture, invites visitors to not just step back into the mystical Baroque past, but to also partake in a unique kind of cultural dialogue. Likewise, visitors are encouraged to take a deeper interest in Central European cultural and artistic traditions, connecting both Vienna, Prague, Munich and Krakow, and Vilnius and Lviv.


2022-02-15
Home  |  Per i Visitatori  >  Mostre  >  International Exhibition „The Mysticism of Baroque Sculpture: Johann Georg Pinsel and other 18th-century Lviv Masters“