Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Images of Saint Thomas

Kloster Wienhausen (Germany) has a special relation with Saint Thomas, so it is not strange that there are many medieval images of the saint in the convent. Not only the tapestry, but also devotional images on paper, carved statues, etc. Also its neighbour convent Isenhagen did have several portraits of Saint Thomas. Below is a selection of them.

The first scene on the Thomas tapestry with 'doubting' Thomas touching the side wound of the resurrected Christ. 
Scanned image from photo in the book Kloster Wienhausen by Horst Appuhn.


The same scene on the inside of the lid of the Holy Sepulchre shrine. The shrine (see below) and the paintings date from the first half of the 15th century, the figure of Christ around 1290. B/W image from photo in the book Kloster Wienhausen by Horst Appuhn; colour image from Drei gefasste Holzsculpturen vom ende des 13. Jahrhunderts in Kloster Wienhausen by B. Hartwieg. Zeitschrift fur Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung, 1988.
Part of the fresco in the nuns choir of Kloster Wienhausen with Saint Thomas dated around 1335. 

Again the doubting Saint Thomas, on a coloured woodblock print on paper dating from 1440-1450. Such devotional papers with religious images were kept in the prayer books. This paper was found under the choir stalls of the nuns choir in Kloster Wienhausen. Photo scanned from the booklet Der Fund vom Nonnenchor. Kloster Wienhausen band IV by Horst Appuhn.

St. Thomas sculpture in the nuns choir in Kloster Wienhausen with bible and chalice. The image is similar to the last scene on the Thomas tapestry, where the (resurrected) Saint visits the believers during Eastern. The wounds of his death can be seen on his breast and back. 60 cm high. B/W image from photo in the book Kloster Wienhausen by Horst Appuhn.

Saint Thomas in the Maria altar dating from 1515 in the nuns choir in Kloster Isenhagen. The 3.17 m high altar is likely made in (nearby) Braunschweig. Saint Thomas measures approximately 70 cm.
The Saint does not hold any of the known items associated with him, such as the square or the spear.

Saint Thomas at the top of on of the choir stalls in the nuns choir in Kloster Isenhagen. These plates with images of saints and scens from the bible are in fact doors of small mural cabons. They were made around 1610 by a carpenter from Hankensbüttel (the village of the convent) and the painter Hans Gödeke from Walsrode.

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