Buczacka figura św. Jana Nepomucena autorstwa Jana Jerzego Pinsla

Aleksander Smoliński

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/SZiK.2015.005


Jan Jerzy Pinsel played a very important role in the cultural life of mid-18th century Buczacz and other towns of Crown Podolia as well as of the nearby city of Lwów (Lviv) in that period, and fairly numerous and varied works documenting his oeuvre are still extant. He was an excellent sculptor and woodcarver, perhaps the best representative of the Rococo ‘Lviv school’. Due to the fervent artistic activity of his generation, this city, along with other urban centres situated in south-eastern borderland of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, took on a rich costume characteristic of the era. This occurred after destructive armed conflicts of the previous century and following the Great Northern War, which temporarily weakened the financial and cultural significance of Lviv. The ensuing ‘golden period’ of its culture was largely the result of substantial patronage by local Crown aristocracy.
The author’s documentation of artistic legacy of Jan Jerzy Pinsel preserved in various locations of the former south-eastern borderland of the Commonwealth includes products of his artistic cooperation with Bernard Meretyn, an architect in service of an eminent local magnate and art patron, Mikołaj Bazyli Potocki, the starost of Kaniów (Kaniv). Particular attention is, however, devoted in the paper to a less spectacular work of art, commissioned by Potocki – a roadside stone figure of St. John of Nepomuk, situated in Buczacz and made about 1750. Discussed are the history of saint’s cult in the region, and of the sculpture itself (e.g. its destruction and restoration), as well as its artistic programme, including heraldic elements and inscriptions visible on the figure’s pedestal still today, of which one pertains to its foundation.

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