The Shrine of Redemption
Europes holy graves
Holy sepulchres are among the special objects to be found in church interiors. Their configuration refers to the sites of Jesus Christ’s Passion and Resurrection in Jerusalem. Since the Middle Ages different kinds of sepulchre replicas featuring varying figures and accessories have become a fixed component of the Easter Week liturgy. The close connection between art and piety so characteristic of the Middle Ages is particularly evident here. Architecture and sculpture merge to form an artistic and thematic unity, functioning as ›settings‹ by means of which it was possible to graphically render the biblical tradition.
The Holy Sepulchre originally from St. Jacob’s church in Chemnitz and today in the Schloßbergmuseum was the focal point of an international colloquium last year. This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue take up the findings of that colloquium and provide insight into the typological diversity in the appearance of holy sepulchres. These were deployed in very different forms from the 12th to the 16th century: as an ensemble consisting of several chapels outside or inside a church, as splendid shrines or chest tombs, as works of complex stone carving or simple wooden sculptures. Holy sepulchres range across Europe from Turku in Finland to Esztergom in Hungary. Alongside the important examples in our exhibition, attention is also devoted to lesser known tombs which are shown here in the form of items on loan, photographs or media presentations.