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St. John of Nepomuk

porcelain figure of kneeling man with hand over his heart, atop clouds and angels

Du Paquier Manufactory
St. John of Nepomuk, after 1731
Hard-paste porcelain
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); H. (with base) 18 3/4 in. (47.7 cm);
W. (max) 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
Melinda and Paul Sullivan Collection

 

The martyr St. John of Nepomuk, who was drowned in the Vltava River in Prague in 1393 at the request of the king of the Romans and of Bohemia, was patron saint of Bohemia and greatly venerated in the Hapsburg lands and southern Germany. Because of the manner of his death, he is regarded as the protector from floods and drowning, and bridges in Central Europe often bear his statue.

This figure derives from a statue modeled by Johann Gottlieb Kirchner, an important modeler at the Meissen Royal porcelain manufactory, who created several altar figures commissioned by Augustus the Strong. The figure and base were created separately and may not belong together.