The sculptural vocabulary of this Saint John of Calvary in limewood is characteristic of Bavaria's artistic production at the end of the 15th century. He has almond eyes, pinched lips, an aquiline nose, curly hair and a detailed drape made of soft and marked folds. Furthermore, its head facing to the right suggests that it was part of a larger composition made for an altarpiece that has now disappeared. This hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that traditionally, Christ on his cross is flanked on either side by the Virgin and Saint John.
Indeed, in the representations of the crucifixion, the "disciple whom Jesus loved", overwhelmed by great pain, laments about the death of Christ, with the Virgin Mary, at the foot of the cross on Mount Golgotha. Specific to the iconography of Saint John on Calvary, the bare feet, as well as the hand drying the tears of his deep sorrow, are remarkable in our sculpture. A strong emotion as well as a great piety emerge from this sculpture. It is in particular through his diverted gaze that his deep sorrow is transmitted.
This work is to be compared to the sculptures of the German artist Tilman Riemenschneider (active in Würzburg from 1483 to 1531). He directed an important workshop whose production spread throughout southern Germany, spreading a very specific style that we find in this sculpture. This hypothesis is justified by the knowledge of other works attributed to Riemenschneider, whose features and workmanship are very similar to those of our work. We can take as a determining example a sculpture, also of a Saint John, sold at Sotheby's New York in 2013, now in private collection
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17 000 €