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Saint Norbert distributes his wealth to the poor

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
The relief depicts the scene when St Norbert distributes his wealth to the poor before leaving Xanten. The composition is constructed backstage. The foreground is filled with the figure of the saint (right) and the people crowding in front of him (left). The gathering consists of five adults and two children. St. Norbert is dressed in an alarja girded with cord. He has bare feet. His head, with shaved tonsure, turns towards the assembled people. With his right hand, he hands them coins from a vessel held up by another man standing at the head of the gathering. In his other hand he holds a large bellows, and underneath it stands a chest encased in foliage.

In the background is the municipal building with its exposed column portico on the axis and stone-block gate in the background, windows to the right and an arcaded cloister to the left. Two men walk in opposite directions in front of the building: One carries a sack on his back and the other brings a cloth stretched on his outstretched arms uphill.

Relief based on Th.Galle's engraving no.9 from the 'Vita S. Norberti' a book annotated and published by Ch. van der Sterre in Antwerp in 1622.