Pieta with the Patron Saints of Bohemia

Johann Christoph Liška

Johann Christoph Liška - Pieta with the Patron Saints of Bohemia
The centre of the composition is taken up by the Pietŕ, placed under the cross on several steps, where some of the instruments of Christ’s Passion are displayed. The mourning Virgin Mary, who is parting with her dead son, is surrounded by the patron saints of Bohemia. Accentuated among them is St Norbert, the founder of the Premonstratensian order, who is putting his attribute - the monstrance – on the suppedaneum of the cross. Kneeling humbly down beside him we can see John of Nepomuk, by then not yet canonized. St Wenceslas is seated in the foreground, in a knight´s armour and cloak lined with ermine. His princely cap and shield with an eagle are held by an angel. On the left we can see St Adalbert, wearing bishop’s robes and holding an oar, and the abbot St Procopius with a cross. Standing above them, there is St Vitus with a cock at his feet. The group of saints is completed by St Sigismund, St Ludmila, and St Ivan (?) top right. The sketch-like character and small size of this canvas prove that this is a preparatory work for a larger painting, most probably the one delivered by the painter in 1705, for one of the lateral altars in the Premonstratensian church of the Assumption in Strahov, even if the final composition is different.
measurements: height 79 cm
width 69 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 631
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters