The exhibition of Johan George Pinsel will be held between November 12, 2012 and February 25, 2012 in the Louis the Fourteenth Chapel of the Louvre Museum. It will be a first exhibition of works by Ukrainian artist in the history of the Louvre!
According to the church documents, founded in Warsaw, the sculptor Johan George Pinsel lived in Western Ukraine in 1750-60th. He was a sculptor of a late rococo style and he did lots of works for local churches and public buildings in the city of Lviv, towns of Gorodok and Hodovychi (Lviv region), Monastyryska and Buchach (Ternopil region). Ones of the most famous masterpieces of Pinsel are statues which he created for Saint George’s Cathedral of Lviv: Saint George the Dragon-slayer, Saint Leo the Pope and Saint Athanasius. About 50 Pinsel’s sculptures are in West Ukrainian museums now.
Many experts call Johan George Pinsel as “the most mysterious artist of a renaissance time”, ”a genius of sculpture” and “the West Ukrainian Michelangelo”. Nobody knows, when he was born and when he died, how he looked like, where he came from or was he born in Western Ukraine. He left just his works for next generations and, I think, maybe somewhere in this big world some distant heritors of him still alive, the more so Pinsel had two sons. But, anyway, there is not much historical data about this genius sculptor and researches of Pinsel doing all their best to bring on more and more info they can.
Actually, there are two known researches of Pinsel’s art in Ukraine: Borys Voznytsky and Vira Stetsko.Borys Voznytsky is a director of the Lviv Art Gallery and a founder of Johann Pinsel Museum in Lviv. (The Pinsel’s museum is located downtown of Lviv, on the 2 Mytna Square, opening hours: 10 a.m. – 17 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. – 17. p.m.; Monday: closed)
Vira Stetsko is a director of Art Gallery of Ternopil Regional Museum of Local Lore. I know Vira personally; she studies works and life of Johan George Pinsel for more than 20 years and she can speak about the Pinsel for hours. I got to know a lot of interesting facts about the sculptor from her. So, she said, the researches of Pinsel guess that he was born in 1707, that’s why 2007 was declared as a Year of Pinsel in Ukraine. Only data about the Pinsel’s personal life are church documents about his marriage to a widow Marianna Elisabeth Mayevska (nee Kyitova) in 1751 and about a birth of his sons Bernard in 1752 and Anton in 1759. According to the next one saved document, in 1762 Marianna Elisabeth got married for the third time, already as a widow of Pinsel. She moved with her third husband Johan Berenshdorf to Bavaria (Germany) and she took all the family archive with her. “So, we can guess, that Johan George Pinsel died somewhere between 1759 and 1762”, Vira Stetsko said.
In 2007, exactly in Pinsel’s Year in Ukraine (what a coincidence!) Vira Stetsko told to the artistic world a real sensation: seems like she found a portrait of the sculptor! She noticed a man’s face on the right arm of the statue “Allegory of Courage” by Pinsel. Knowing that all the sculptors of Pinsel’s time used to leave their self-portraits on some fragment of their masterpieces, Vira Stetsko guess, that Pinsel left his image this way.
You can see two of the most famous works of Johan George Pinsel on the picture above: Saint Leo the Pope and Saint Athanasius statues at the entrance to the St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv.