Johann Georg Pinsel

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Cathedral of Saint George in Lviv
Statue of Saint George
Townhall in Buchach

Johann Georg Pinsel (Polish: Jan Jerzy Pinsel, Ukrainian: Йоган Ґеорґ Пінзель; b. 1715-1725,[1] d. 1761 or early 1762) was a Baroque-Rococo sculptor active in Galicia (then in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, now Ukraine).[2]

Biographical details about him are scarce. He was discovered by Jan Bołoz Antoniewicz and appeared in scholarly literature in 1923 in the monograph of Władysław Żyła "Kościół i klasztor Dominikanów we Lwowie" ("Dominican church and monastery in Lviv").[1][3] His first and second name, some information about his family and approximate date of death were only established in 1993,[2] with the discovery of registers of the Buchach Roman Catholic parish.[1] The place and exact date of his birth remain unknown.[2]

Pinsel came to the Kingdom of Poland most probably around 1750. According to Jan K. Ostrowski, it is almost certain that he was of German ethnic origin. He settled in Buchach and became court artist to Mikołaj Bazyli Potocki.[2] In 1751, he married Marianna Majewska, with whom he had two sons: Bernard and Antoni.[3] He closely collaborated with Bernard Meretyn.[2] His student was Maciej Polejowski.[3]

Pinsel's works include sculptures and decorations of the Buchach townhall (1750s), the Trinitarian church (1756-1757) and the St. George's Cathedral (headquarters of Greek Catholics) in Lviv, (1759-1761), interiors of the Roman Catholic churches in: Monastyryska (1761), Horodenka (1752-1755) and Hodovytsia (1757-1758),[2] sculptures in the Roman Catholic parish church in Budaniv.[3][4]

His only work that survived intact, in its original spatial arrangement, is the facade of the St. George's Cathedral. His sculptural complexes in the churches in Horodenka and Monastyryska were almost completely destroyed between 1939 and 1989. The figures of the high altar in Hodovytsia have been saved thanks to efforts of the staff of the Lviv Art Gallery.[2]

Selected works[edit]

  • Stone monumental sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk (preserved heads, 1750) and Virgin Mary (1751) in Buchach
  • Stone sculpture for parapet Buchach townhall (initially 14 survived)
  • The altar of the church of the Immaculate Conception in Horodenka (18 sculptures, rescued 5)
  • Column with a statue of the Virgin Mary in Horodenka
  • The interior of churches in Ustia Zelene (Monastyryska Raion) and Hvizdets[citation needed]
  • Saint Onuphrius (Rukomysh)


  1. ^ a b c Krasny, Piotr; Ostrowski, Jan. K. (1995). "Wiadomości biograficzne na temat Jana Jerzego Pinsla". Biuletyn Historii Sztuki (in Polish). IS PAN. 57 (3/4): 340–342.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ostrowski, Jan K. (2000). "A great baroque master on the outskirts of Latin Europe. Johann Georg Pinsel and the high altar of the church at Hodowica" (PDF). Artibus et Historiae. 21 (42): 197–198.
  3. ^ a b c d Makowska, Urszula, ed. (1998). Słownik artystów polskich i obcych w Polsce działających (zmarłych przed 1966 r.) Malarze, rzeźbiarze, graficy. Vol. 7 (in Polish). IS PAN. pp. 195–196.
  4. ^ Andrzej, Betlej (1995). "Rzeźby Jana Jerzego Pinsla i jego kręgu z kościoła parafialnego w Budzanowie". Biuletyn Historii Sztuki (in Polish). IS PAN. 57 (3/4): 343–352.

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