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Saint Norbert drinks a spider during Mass along with the Holy Blood

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 scene is set in the temple. The five figures depicted during the Mass are seen in right profile.

To the right, St Norbert stands on a raised platform in front of the altar shown from the side. Dressed in his habit and chasuble, he tilts a chalice to his mouth with his right hand, drinking, as the story of his life proclaims, a spider's web together with holy blood. A spider's web is stretched over the altar canopy.

In front of the saint, a book rests on the mensa and a candlestick with a lighted candle and a cross stand, while two ampullae on a tray stand on the step by the altar. Behind his back. Behind St Norbert kneels an altar boy in a roquet, followed by a bearded man, a young man and a woman. In the background: columns bearing Gothic vaults beneath which hang two lamps and, in the background, pillar arcades.

Relief based on Th.Galle's engraving no.13 from "Vita S. Norberti" a book annotated and published by Ch. van der Sterre in Antwerp in 1622