Saint Joseph

French Sculptor, August Gerber (cast maker)
  • Thumbnail image of the artwork
  • Thumbnail image of the artwork
French Sculptor

August Gerber
(cast maker)
mid-13th century (original), 1909 (cast)
plaster cast
92 × 82 × 56 cm, 45 kg base: 111 × 84 × 49 cm
Current Location of the Original Artwork
France, Reims, Cathedral

The busts of Saint Joseph and Anna the Prophetess (Rg.125) were cast after the full-length jamb figures of the central portal of Reims Cathedral. The two figures from the Presentation in the Temple scene flank the Virgin holding the Child, and Simeon. Reims Cathedral, reconstructed from 1211 and once the coronation church for French kings, is a masterpiece of French High Gothic architecture and one of its most harmonious works. The realistic rendition of the human figures of the portal attests to the influence of classical sculpture: the figures carved as sculptures in the round are imbued with life. One of the most famous examples of the emotional richness in sculpture is the Smiling Angel of Reims, another jamb figure of the cathedral; her gaiety can be observed in the face of Saint Joseph too. Commissioned by the museum in 1909, the cast was made by August Gerber in Cologne. It was exhibited in the Romanesque Hall in 1910.