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Christ Risen, Savior of the World

Author, school, workshop
Caspar Pfister, Wrocław
Material and technique
Repoussé silver, cast, engraved, partially gilded, champlevé
Wys. figury 109 cm (z krzyżem: 132 cm); podstawa 30 cm x 23 cm
Signatures and inscriptions
Identity number
Roman Catholic Cathedral Parish of St. John the Baptist in Wrocław
Roman Catholic Cathedral Parish of St. John the Baptist in Wrocław
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wrocław
The figure is depicted in a slight contrapposto. A richly decorated cloak is draped over the naked body, revealing the torso and legs, fastened at the neck with a clasp adorned with amethysts. The right hand is raised in a gesture of blessing, while the left holds a royal orb or, alternatively, a cross can be attached. The face is surrounded by a beard, with wavy hair reaching the shoulders. On the head is a looped crown topped with a cross. On its band are precious stones, including emeralds and rubies in box settings. Similarly set stones in yellow-green and green adorn the fleurons above the band. Christ is shown stepping on the head of Leviathan with an open mouth. To the sides (on the left) is Satan lifting his head and (on the right) a skeleton with an upward-tilted skull, along with representations of naked figures in the flames of hell. A serpent crawling under Christ's foot bites his heel. This figure of Christ is both the most important surviving work of Caspar Pfister and the most outstanding masterpiece of Wrocław goldsmithing from the first half of the 17th century. Its exceptional plastic qualities and significant size prompt its treatment as a sculptural work, transcending the usual scope of ambition and capability in goldsmithing. Pfister's mastery of traditional repoussé techniques enabled him to create a figure of majestic yet expressive and free character. The combined iconographic themes typical of representations of Christ the Savior of the World (crown and royal orb symbolizing the globe) and the Risen Christ (cloak thrown over the naked body, cross) are evident.