Collection Online
Saint John
polychromed limewood
131.8 × 35.8 × 25.2 cm
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
International Sculpture
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1941
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts
Level 1, NGV International
Churches played a prominent role in the daily life in medieval and Renaissance Europe. They typically faced onto busy market places and public squares and were sometimes dedicated to a local saint. Church exteriors often served as a ‘Poor Man’s Bible’, and were elaborately decorated with sculptures, paintings or mosaics that illustrated mankind’s salvation through repentance. In southern Germany limewood sculptures were typically situated in the covered areas around a church entrance. Subject to exposure, such sculptures would often be replaced when they became damaged or out of date.