Johan van Groningen

(fl. 1565)

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(fl 1565; d Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, 5 July 1606). Sculptor and wood-carver, probably of Netherlandish origin, active in Germany. In 1565 and 1568 he made oak pulpits for the Gasthaus zum Ritter church of St Jürgen in Husum and for the church in Mildstedt. These pulpits are hexagonal in form and richly decorated with Renaissance motifs. The door that forms part of the pulpit in Husum is also lavishly decorated, having a wooden rail of pilasters with heads of children on the capitals and, on the frieze, mythical creatures with cartouches. In 1575 van Groningen made a decorative rail for an organ that Duke Adolf of Holstein-Gottorp (1526–82) and his wife had commissioned from the Schleswig organ builder Goos for the Marienkirche in Husum. Of this organ, four pilasters remain (Husum, Nissenhaus–Nordfries. Mus.). The church at Pellworm houses the epitaph that van Groningen made for Thomas Elersen: a panel depicting the Crucifixion is framed by wooden columns; God the Father is represented at the top of the frieze; fragments of polychrome painting are still visible. Van Groningen almost certainly had a hand in the decoration of the new castle that the Duke Adolf built between 1567 and 1582 on the site of the abbey at Husum; he probably entered the Duke's service in 1582, remaining in it for 22 years. It is not clear whether he was in any way related to Hendrik van Groningen (fl 1563), a sculptor of Netherlandish origin, about whom all that is known is that he probably worked in Hadersleben in Schleswig-Holstein c. 1563.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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