Kneeling Angel

Kneeling Angel

c. 1760

Ignaz Günther

(German, 1725-1775)

Gessoed and painted wood

Overall: 83.5 x 39 x 23.5 cm (32 7/8 x 15 3/8 x 9 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1966.18


This angel, and another now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, were probably originally placed on either side of a tabernacle—a structure designed to hold the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist—on an altar in a Christian church or private chapel. The angels would originally have had wings, and the now plain surface of the sculpture would have been painted or gilded. Ignaz Günther was among the most sought-after carvers of religious sculpture in southern Germany. His virtuoso skill is particularly evident here in the angel’s pious expression and elegantly formed hands and feet.

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