June 29, 2017
Viet Stoss (1450-1533), Saint Paul, 16th century, wood, 34 x 14 x 10 3/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of Gloria Teichert with funds provided by Jack R. and Mary Lois Wheatley, 2004.
In many Western Christian traditions, June 29 is the Feast of St. Peter and Paul, held in honor of their martyrdom. Traditional observances include the All-Night Vigil on the evening before and other liturgical services on the day itself. Artist Peter Paul Rubens, whose birthday was on June 28, was so named as he was born during the Vigil of the Feast the evening before the 29th.
Today’s artwork of the day is a beautiful wood carving of St. Peter of German origin. This sculpture was likely part of a larger carved group placed at the altar of a church. Paul’s energetic and more natural-looking form reflects the transition between the aesthetics of the stiffer Gothic era and the more expressive German Renaissance.
This piece is currently on display at the BYU Museum of Art in the exhibition To Magnify the Lord: Six Centuries of Art and Devotion.