Description & Technical information

The two heavenly messengers are mirror images. They kneel, sunk in rapt contemplation and deeply move any beholder. Their attitude is that of humility and infinite innocence and they bear witness to a world, which we only know or understand from the periphery, if at all. The expression of deep and quiet adoration lends them a magical aura that is impossible to resist. On the evidence of the kind of wood used, it seems likely that the carver came from the Tyrol region where high-quality woodcarving is traditionally carried out in Swiss pine. In Vienna, the first choice would have been lime wood. Since the two sculptures clearly exhibit stylistic elements of Viennese art nouveau, they were probably executed by a Tyrolean woodcarver who was trained in Vienna or a master craftsman who was resident in Tyrol.

According to the inventory list of the Archdiocese of Vienna our angels were part of a group of figures described as follows: These six larger-than-life angels served in the 1920s as the bearers of Christ’s body in the Corpus Christi procession [...]. They are stored in the cellar and difficult to access. This description is barely credible since the angels are around 185 cm high and each weighs around 100 kg. They also show no evidence of mounts or any other fixtures that would have enabled them to be used as the bearers of Christ’s body in the procession. However, on the basis of the storage location and the description there is absolutely no doubt that our angels are a part of the group.
We will be carrying out further research to clarify the authorship of these two angels.

Date:  Around 1910
Period:  20th century
Origin:  Austria, Vienna
Medium: Swiss pine, carved and painted, mounted on a black, stained walnut base
Dimensions: 185 cm (72⁷/₈ inches)
Provenance: Neulerchenfeld parish church, Vienna, inv. no. 9145/20
Categories: Decorative Arts & Design, Sculpture