Ferdinand Stuflesser 1875 Showcase

I wanted to play a bit of 'catch up' and showcase some of the fine woodcarving of Ferdinand Stuflesser 1875 whom we have featured before. Let's dive right into it with a few comments interspersed here and there throughout.  (And to highlight the point once again, for I do not think it can be over-emphasized, Stuflesser pursues original woodcarvings; these are not plaster moulds please note.) We begin with Mary, Help of Christians.

Mary, Help of Christians
The colours on this one are particularly fine I think, accentuated by the gilt patterns found throughout the carving.  The whole piece comes across as colourful and yet not in the slightest gaudy. What's more, the balance to the work is very appealing; there is a kind of warmth to the sculpture and yet it is not saccharine or sentimentalist in the slightest. 

Christ, The High Priest
The image of Christ the High Priest, vested in liturgical vestments, has always been a favourite of mine and this is no exception. Set against the medieval Italian style crucifix shape with the symbols of the Four Evangelists, this would be a welcome addition to any church or religious institution. 

St. Lawrence
Here we have the  St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, with his infamous grill.  The dalmatic has very nice detailing on it, and the face portrayed here is really quite something I think. Stoic in the face of martyrdom, serene and confident. 

Blessed Virgin
I particularly like this statue of the Virgin for its late medieval and renaissance feel.  This comes out especially in the facial features and narrow shoulders. There is something particularly iconic about that period where one has no sense of them trying to be unduly realistic. They are rather more iconographic and that is the sense that comes out in this sculpture as well as the next one of Christ:

Sacred Heart
St. Joseph
This particular statue of St. Joseph has a baroque like quality to it with its sense of movement, particularly highlighted by the windswept qualities of the folds of the clothing. The face of St. Joseph has a tenderness to it but also a sense of fatherly protectiveness and responsibility. The face of the Christ Child, one of serene trust in the safety of the arms of St. Joseph. 

Immaculate Heart
This image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary has a 19th century style to it but certainly of a much higher calibre than often tends to be found in the mass produced variants that we are more typically accustomed to seeing from that period.  The same may be said of the next image of the Virgin as well:

Immaculate Heart
St. Michael the Archangel
Here again, this image of St. Michael the Archangel, triumphant over Satan, like a couple of our previous examples, has an earlier feel to it, expressed mainly through the facial features. It wouldn't surprise me if the same carver did this work as the earlier Madonna. 

Madonna and Child
I would have to say this particular Madonna and Child is another favourite of mine. There is an elegance and confidence present in the face of the Madonna that is really quite appealing.

St. Benedict 
This is classic image of St. Benedict of course, show with his 'regula' and famed crow.  There is a sense of monastic stability and sobriety that can be found within this particular image. 

St. James
St. Paul
Mary, Queen of Heaven
* * *

It is always important to see these sorts of works put within their proper context I think, so here are a few images of Stuflesser's work as it appears in various churches. We begin with the image of Mary, Queen of Heaven, seen just above.

Here is the statue of St. Michael the Archangel shown earlier:

Finally, I'd like to finish with a couple that we hadn't been able to show until now, beginning with this crucifixion scene:

Last, but certainly not least, another crucifixion scene executed by Stuflesser for the high altar of this impressive parish church.

For more information, please visit the website or Facebook page of  Ferdinand Stuflesser 1875.

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