Fourteen Holy Assistants

Michael Leopold Willmann

Michael Leopold Willmann - Fourteen Holy Assistants
The holy assistants are gathered in a circle, whose centre is occupied by St Christopher. The Virgin and Child, with St Joseph are depicted at the very top. The cult of the Fourteen Holy Helpers came from the pilgrimage place in Vierzehnheiligen in the Upper Franconia. Willmann’s creation is a modelletto - i. e. a preparatory work for an altarpiece, which had not survived, but was probably situated in the Silesian church in Podlesie (Wäldchen) near Lubawka (Liebau). That church was commissioned by the abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Krzeszów (Grüssau), Bernhard Rosa, who became one of the promoters of the Holy Family cult - Jesus Christ, the Virgin, and Joseph as the most powerful assistants in need. Their reverence spread to Bohemia, as well - parti cularly to the monastery in Sedlec near Kutná Hora, in which its abbot, Jindřich Snopek, had a chapel of the Holy Family built, furnished with a replica of Willmann’s painting.
measurements: height 109 cm
width 88 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 1454
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters

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