A large polychrome and gilt limewood sculpture of an Angel in the Manner of Franz Ignaz Gunther, ca. 1770, Munich (Bavaria)
The present sculpture probably once formed part of the upper section of a tall church altar in Bavaria where such angelic sculptures frequently flanked and hovered above sculptural scenes below.
Our sculpture of an angel closely follows the master of Munich Rococo polychrome wood sculpture: Franz Ignaz Günther. Similarities in pose and manner can be compared with a Kneeling Angel attributed to Günther at the Cleveland Museum of Art (Inv. 1966.18) or a group of three hovering angels executed by Günther for the Knöbel’s private chapel in Munich, now located at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Inv. Pl.O. 2509-11). However, the character of our sculpture especially recalls Günther’s Adoring Angel at the Liebieghaus Skulpturen Sammlung in Frankfurt am Main. The similarity suggests a close follower of Günther or an artist active in his workshop may have realized our sculpture.
In keeping with the ethereal realm of the angelic, sculptors of this epoch and region often escaped gender by embellishing these artworks with an androgynous character that transcended earthly concerns and qualities.
Condition: Probably limewood, chiseled and hollowed reverse. Stress cracks due to removal or relocation. Losses commensurate with age. Most original polychrome and gilding still present though some early restorations apparent.
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