“ The Splendid Tabernacle
of Saint James’s Church ”
Louvain, Tabernacle in St James’s Church. Tabernacle de l’Église St Jacques a Louvain. The rich, high-rising Gothic tabernacle by Gabriel van den Bruyne (Louvain 1476/1500? – 1561) with its brass balustrade with the four evangelists. Before it priest with confirmation classes. Color lithograph by François Stroobant (Brussels 1819 – Elsene 1916). C. 1855. Inscribed: F. Stroobant del. et lith. / C. Muquardt éditeur. / Imp. Simonau & Toovey, Bruxelles., otherwise in French, German, and English as above. 13⅜ × 8¾ in (34 × 22.2 cm).
Boetticher II/2, 855. – “Belgian architectural painter … known by works and drawings to art history, especially of his homeland. Several drawings he has lithographed himself.” So the present one, too.
“ (Bruyne) created 1537 to 1539
the splendid tabernacle of Saint James’s Church in Louvain
which is reproduced from the one by Matthieu de Layens in St. Peter’s Church there. The artist received for it the sum of 250 Florin., 20 Sol. ”
(Hans Vollmer, Thieme-Becker V , p. 160).
The balustrade worked only 1568 by the Louvain brass-founder Jean Veldener II is, however,
“ one of the most beautiful Netherlandish metal works of the renaissance ;
the fluted little pillars are replaced at the corners by sturdier pilasters which carry the statuettes of the 4 evangelists; herm figures lean to these pilasters … a richly pierced scrollwork crowning carries 5 candle spikes … The style of this fender nears to the Floris style, and Hedike has assumed that Cornelis Floris himself or one of his pupils might have provided the model. On the other hand it has to be supposed that the founder has not limited his activity to this one masterpiece. Luer and Creutz have referred to the relationship between the balustrade of St. James’s in Louvain and the one of St. Mary’s in Rostock … ”
(Marguerite Devigne, op. cit. XXXIV , p. 205).
One of the two side-chapels of the originally Romanesque church, rebuilt in Gothic style after almost complete destruction by supposedly lightning, by the way – not in Schlieker, Die Verehrung des hl. Hubertus im Wandel der Jahrhunderte, 2016 – consecrated to St. Hubert, while the “Devil’s Bell”, according to the legend being not baptised and therefore hanging on the outside of the tower, reckons among the Seven Wonders of Louvain.
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