Pieta from Brzeg

Z Silesiacum
Przejdź do nawigacjiPrzejdź do wyszukiwania
Brzeska Pieta in 2016 r.

The Pieta from Brzeg is a unique form among figures depicting the Virgin Mary holding the bloodied Jesus. It is located in one of the side altars of the Church of the Holy Cross Exaltation in Brzeg and was restored after years spent in the attic to be exhibited again for public viewing. It is probably the only sculpture of its kind in Central Europe, making it a very valuable monument.

It was made of lime wood, and the figure of Mary is actually a wooden frame with hinges that allow the sculpture to be posed in different positions. The Virgin Mary's robes are replaced from time to time, and Jesus's body can be arranged almost at will. This gives the whole figure life and allows it to take on various forms. Such figures were carried during religious ceremonies, dressed in different costumes depending on the period and holiday, and also used in mysteries.

Romuald Nowak, a Brzeg art historian from the National Museum in Wrocław, unsuccessfully searched for similar depictions of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in our part of the continent. The uniqueness of the Pieta from Brzeg also lies in the fact that it portrays Mary and the bloodied Jesus extremely realistically, which is culturally foreign to this part of Europe. Mary has black hair here, while in our cultural circle she usually had light hair.

The Pieta, which is about 250 years old, probably came to Brzeg with the Jesuits, who founded the baroque temple in the mid-18th century. Such marionette sculptures were popular in southern Italy and Spain in the 18th century. It is not known when it ended up in the attic of the rectory. Only in 1999 did the parish priest of the Holy Cross show the Pieta to conservator Jerzy Czajor, who properly evaluated the sculpture. After his death, Alina Radzimowska from the Conservation Workshop of the Silesian Piasts Museum in Brzeg undertook the conservation of the figure.

The ceremonial unveiling of the restored Pieta took place in September 2004. The Virgin Mary was dressed in robes sewn by Mrs. Radzimowska based on sources from the National Museum in Wrocław. Three meters of dedicated fabric for the dress cost over 500 PLN. Mary wears a wig and a crown on her head, which were reconstructed based on the found remnants.