Gabriel von Max

St. Kümmernis

pencil on paper

c. 1867

 
Gabriel von Max
St. Kümmernis on the Cross, also known as St. Wilgefortis
circa 1867
pencil on paper
21,6 x 11,4 cm (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.)
recto titled: "St. Kümmernis"
recto with stamp of the artist's estate: "Nachlass Gabriel von Max"
recto shown above, verso here below


Exhibition History:


2011     "Gabriel von Max: Be-tailed Cousins and Phantasms of the Soul," Frye Art Museum, Seattle, July 9-Oct. 30, 2011



Publication History:


Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, ed., Gabriel von Max (Seattle: Frye Art Museum, 2011), ills. 44 (verso) and 45 (recto), pg. 60.



Discussion:


Wilgefortis is a female saint of the Catholic Church whose legend arose in the 14th century, and whose distinguishing feature is a large beard. In German lands, she was known as St. Kümmernis. According to the narrative of the life of this saint, a teen-aged noblewoman named Kümmernis had been promised in marriage by her father. To thwart the unwanted wedding, she took a vow of chastity, and prayed that she would be made repulsive. In answer to her prayers, Kümmernis sprouted a beard, which ended the engagement. In anger, her father had her crucified. St. Kümmernis remained popular well into the 20th century in Bavaria and Austria. She was venerated by people seeking relief from tribulations, in particular by women who wished to be liberated from abusive husbands.





above, verso of the drawing

Gabriel von Max
Head of St. Kümmernis, also known as St. Wilgefortis
circa 1867
pencil on paper
21,6 x 11,4 cm (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.)

Contact:
Jack Daulton
The Jack Daulton Collection
Los Altos Hills, California
info@symbolismus.com