PIETA, A CARVED VERSION OF LAMENTATION
To the left of the main altar by the rood wall, an extraordinary side altar dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows can be noticed. The top part is in a shape of a heart made of grapes carved in wood. Inside this unusual “frame” a cross with a crown of thorns was placed.
However, the most valuable artwork here is a folk-style pietà put in a niche. The statue is older than the church itself and it comes from a former church which stood here. In the beginning of the 17th century, during the Mannerist period, it was carved in wood, painted and gilded some parts by craftsmen from Greater Poland.
This image refers to a motif of the Mother of God who laments her dead son, popular during Gothic period. According to some researchers the body of dead Christ which is lying on Her knees becomes an altar and Jesus – the perfect Sacrifice which ensures salvation for all people.
- The object presented here is an example of so called pietà corpusculum – the body of an adult Christ is disproportionately small, the size of Baby.
- Pieta of Zduny has been enriched with gilded elements made of metal: a crown on Mary’s head and also rays around the wound on Christ’s side.
ALTARS FULL OF ANGELS
Richly decorated altars of the local church are beautiful examples of diverse carving techniques. Craftsmen who made them during 17th and 18th centuries (Baroque and Rococo periods) exhibited the artistry of their craft. Among sculptures the biggest group is made of angels who additionally appear on paintings.
- The baroque main altar is dedicated to the patron saint of the church, St. John the Baptist. His image is on the 19th century oil painting from the Romantic period. Interestingly, initially the painting was smaller and in addition the canvas in the upper part was in a shape of arch. In order to place it in the central part of the altar, it had to be “made bigger”. Thus additional fragments of canvas were added at the top and bottom which were then painted.
- In the side niches there are figures of saint apostles: St. Peter with keys (on the left) and St. Paul with a sword (on the right).
- In the crowning of the altar an octagonal image of Our Lady of Angels was placed. It is a baroque artwork made with tempera paints on a board. As the title of the painting suggests, Mary is in a company of four angels.
- The patron saint of the rococo-style side altar put by a pillar of the south wall is St. Joseph. His painted image decorates the central panel and is framed by gilded ornaments.
- Mary’s bridegroom is holding little Jesus and is accompanied by his “parents-in-law”, that is figures of St. Joachim (on the left) and St. Anne (on the right).
- The painting of St. Joseph is covered from the top by a painting of St. Anthony of Padua. Both artworks are connected by little Baby Jesus who is being held tenderly by the saints but also by angles in the background.