John Evangelist of a Crucifixion, 1470 - 1480, Netherlands or Niederrhein. Silver, gilt, painted partly cold. Height x Width x Depth: 16 x 7 x 4 cm. Ident.Nr. K 3865. Kunstgewerbemuseum © Photo: Museum of Decorative Arts of the National Museums in Berlin - Prussian Cultural Heritage. Photo: Saturia Linke
The figures of John the Evangelist (3865 K) and the grieving Mary "in the fullness coat" (inv. No. K 3866) were originally part of a Crucifixion. In finely differentiated way they react with gestures and mime to the once appearing above them representation of Christ on the cross.The wailing over his chest crossed hands of Maria and her humbly wistful look into the distance convey a state of mind silent maternal grief, which differs significantly from the sudden horror of John. The beloved disciple of Christ looking scared, with almost abwehrendem gesture on the cross, as if he could not believe what had happened. The convincing detection and nuanced portrayal of human emotions make the small sized blowing work on sculptures of very high artistic quality. The moving wrinkling, the finely engraved jewelry belts and the technically perfect Strichpunzierung on the insides of the shells in accordance with the outstanding quality of character education. Faces and hands are painted in a pale Inkarnatton and the head veil of Mary in white "cold". The technique of partial colored grasping metal figures was particularly popular in the second half of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century.
Both figures have on the bottom for mounting devices. However, it remains questionable whether they were originally on a reliquary architecturally formed a so-called Chapel Cross formed as an assistant figures a "little Crucifixion", served as part of a multi-figured Calvary or come from a different context. The statuettes were already in the 18th century in the Kunstkammer of the Hohenzollern Palace in Berlin. LL