Church Founders

Artists of the Hodowica church

Bernard Meretyn

A celebrous architect in the region of Lwów, originated probably from the territory of the German Empire. From 1745 he was the court architect of King Augustus III Sas (Wettin). Meretyn is the precursor of Rococo forms in Poland. Not much is known about his life before coming to Lwów in 1738. He closely collaborated with the architect Marcin Urbanik from Zamość, also did not belonged to the guild of builders, which caused constant conflicts. Initially, his protector was the city councillor Carlo Garani, for whom he rebuilt a tenement house and a palace in Lwów, later called the Biesiadecki Palace. Then Bernard Meretyn was employed by Mikołaj Bazyli Potocki, the starost of Kaniów, who commissioned him to work in his properties Horodenka and Buczacz. Since then Bernard Meretyn collaborated with the sculptor Johan Georg (Jan Jerzy) Pinsel.

Meretyn’s most important works are St. Jura Cathedral in Lviv (1746-1764), the town hall in Buczacz (1750-1751), the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Tarnogród (1750-1771), the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Theatine Monastery in Horodenka (1743-1766), and the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Nawaria (1739–1748).

Church of All Saints in Hodowica (1751-1758), which was founded thanks to the foundation of Fr. Szczepan Mikulski, the archdeacon of Lviv, became a model for other churches: in Łopatyn, Brzozdowce, Kołomyja, Busko and Tarnogród.

Johan Georg Pinsel

We know little about the life and work of the great artist Johan Georg Pinsel. He worked in 1750-1761 under the patronage of Mikołaj Bazyli Potocki, the starost of Kaniów, a benefactor of the arts on the eastern borders of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, founder of magnificent churches and secular buildings and their sculptural decorations. He collaborated with one of the greatest architects in Lwów of his time Bernard Meretyn. The work of Master Pinsel, which is in the sphere of influence of South German art, stands out from the contemporary Rococo sculpture by its special expression and drama of representations. Pinsel had a workshop in Buczacz. Initially, he used limestone, decorating the buildings erected by Meretyn: the town hall in Buczacz (around 1750), the cathedral of St. Jura in Lviv (1759-61), and later the altar units carved in wood, intended for churches in Horodenka (1752-1755), Hodowica (around 1758) and in Monasterzyska (1761), sculptures for the chapel in Marijampole, the monastery in Sąsiadowice, sculptures of the Church of St. Martin in Lviv, sculptures and reliefs for the church of St. Pokrov in Buczacz.

The artist raised about forty learners and followers of his art. In the 19th century the Pinsel’s artwork was forgotten. It was restored to the pantheon of famous sculptors after Poland regained independence after World War I, when two historians in Lwów: Tadeusz Mańkowski and Zbigniew Hornung began researching the sculptor’s workshop. They found almost all the Pinsel’s art works.

Thanks to the great efforts of Borys Woźnicki, when Ukraine became independent, the Pinsel’s sculpture museum was organized in Lviv, at Mytny Square, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the former Clarisses church).

Prepared according to:

J. K. Ostrowski: Kościół parafialny p.w. Wszystkich Świętych w Hodowicy. W: Kościoły i klasztory rzymskokatolickie dawnego województwa ruskiego. T. 1. Materiały do dziejów sztuki sakralnej. [The parish church of All Saints in Hodowica. In: Roman Catholic churches and monasteries of the former Ruthenian Province. Vol. 1. Materials for the history of sacred art]. Kraków 1993

Z. Hornung: Majster Pinsel snycerz: karta z dziejów polskiej rzeźby rokokowej. T. 10 z Rozprawy Komisji Historii Sztuki. [Master Pinsel a woodcarver: a page from the history of Polish rococo sculpture. Vol. 10 of the Art History Commission dissertation.] Wrocławskie Towarzystwo Naukowe. Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, Wrocław 1976