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Conversion of Saint Norbert

Author, school, workshop
Norbertine monastic sculptor (?)
Late Mannerism
Material and technique
Oak wood; shallow relief
Height 145 x width 85 cm
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wroclaw, Poland
Depicted here is the scene of Norbert's conversion on the road to Vreden, where a horse frightened by a lightning strike has thrown him to the ground.

In the centre of the relief, a saddled horse can be seen on its right side falling over on its head. The young rider falling from it, depicted with his head down at the front, has his hands lowered disorderly. His feathered cap has flown off. He is dressed in a long kaftan with a belted sword, pludders and knee-high boots with spurs.

Above him, a travelling companion stands to his left in front of the trunk of a large, leafy tree. Visible down to his knees, facing the viewer, he turns his head to the left, pointing with his outstretched left hand to a nearby town. He is dressed in a voluminous, belted kaftan and a hat with feathers.

The town can be seen in the far background, to the right, above a massive oak tree. Its skyline consists of the city walls, houses and a church tower towering above the buildings. The upper part of the composition is filled with clustered clouds.

Relief based on Th.Galle's engraving No.3 from the 'Vita S. Norberti' a book annotated and published by Ch. van der Sterre in Antwerp in 1622.