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Confessional with Albertus Magnus and Rose of Lima

This confessional, dating from 1684 and attributed to Willem I Kerricx, is now somewhat hidden away in the south side-chapel. Prior to 1834, however, this ‘eleventh’ confessional stood against the west wall, on the north side of the main entrance.

Confessional with Albertus Magnus and Rose of Lima, 1684, oak, Attributed to Willem I Kerricx (1652 – 1719)

At that time, the figure on the left – the Dominican Albertus Magnus, who consecrated the original Church of St Paul in 1276 – beckoned to visitors with an expansive gesture to come to confession. Now he seems merely to preach to the wood panelling.

This is nevertheless one of the most beautiful late-baroque confessionals of its type: the Christ of Judgement Day – in full relief and surrounded by little angels blowing trumpets – lets it be known that confession here will help soften the Last Judgement.

Two life-size angels remind the confessant of the most important virtues: penitence on the right and humility on the left. We also glimpse a tender touch between St Rose of Lima and the Infant Christ.

The medaillons at the top show confessants examples of penitent sinners from the Bible, including King David with his harp and Mary Magdalene with her long hair.

Source: Baroque Pleasure, Masterly craftmanship in the Antwerp monumental churches, 2018


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