“In Wawel, for the first time, you can admire almost all the preserved sculptures from the parish church in Hodowica near Lviv. These are absolute masterpieces, one of the most outstanding sculptures created in eighteenth-century Europe,” wrote Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Piotr Gliński in a letter read during the opening of the exhibition ‘Expression: Lviv Rococo Sculpture at Wawel Royal Castle’.
The Minister of Culture and National Heritage reminded that Johann Georg Pinsel’s sculptures were shown to a wider audience as early as the late 1980s, but only in the 21st century did they appear in Western European museums. They were presented in the Louvre in Paris, then in Vienna. The last exhibitions took place in 2022 at the National Museum – Palace of the Lithuanian Dukes in Vilnius and in Latvia at the Rundale Palace in Pilsrundale.
The exhibition has been organized under the honorary patronage of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Professor Piotr Glinski.
Originally presented monuments decorated the parish church in Hodowica near Lviv, designed and built in the years 1751–1758 by Bernard Meretyn. The architect invited the outstanding sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel to cooperate. In the 1960s, thanks to the employees of the Lviv National Art Gallery (then still called the Lviv Picture Gallery), the furnishings of the church were secured. However, the building itself fell into ruin. Since the 1990s, the statues have been exhibited in one of the Gallery’s branches – the Johann Georg Pinsel Museum, located in the former Poor Clare Church in Lviv.
It is worth emphasizing that almost all of the preserved sculptures from Hodowica can be seen at Wawel for the first time (usually located in the Borys Woźnicki Lviv National Art Gallery), e.g. never shown in Poland, but a key element in Pinsel’s work, the group of Samson tearing the lion’s mouth or an excellent ornamental console, originally serving as the basis for the figure of Our Lady of Sorrows.