The Descent of the Holy Ghost
Old Hungarian Collection
|Date||between 1733 and 1735|
|Object type||church furnishing|
statue: 200 cm
|Collection||Old Hungarian Collection|
|On view||Hungarian National Gallery Building C, Third Floor, Art in the 19th Century, Sculptures from the 18th-19th Centuries|
The two adoring angels accompanied a group of statues showing Saint Martin and the beggar and belonged to the high altar of the church of Saint Martin in Pozsony (today Bratislava, Slovakia), until it was restored in the 19th century. The overall look of the altar was captured in a contemporary photograph.
The two, larger-than-life angels are essentially symmetric, aside from a few minor differences in their movements, the positioning of their hands and the arrangement of their drapery. They are majestic, heavenly creatures, although their nicely formed bodies are realistic. Their posture expresses intimate, perfect adoration. The material, the fine grey colour of the lead and its silky sheen highlight the beauty of the modelling. In the early stages of his career, the Viennese sculptor, Georg Raphael Donner, served the Prince-Primate Imre Esterházy in Pozsony. He commissioned the high altar with a large baldachin, which was made in 1733–1735. With this work, Donner introduced to Hungary the use of lead, a new material that had rarely been used in the sculpture of Central Europe.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.