Model of a Gothic Tower
France, 19th century
Height 148 cm, width 63 cm

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The present architectural model is characterised by its charisma and unique, impressing appearance. Built in the style of a Gothic tower in the 19th century in France, the design evokes the famous cathedrals of the period, but develops an independent aesthetic through its carving and dark, nuanced colours. Composed of three mountable, easily transportable individual parts, it becomes an aesthetic unit through its construction. The model wasn’t executed in the full round, leaving the back flat. It’s clearly meant to be installed on the wall of a room - probably in a church.

It is possible that it was used as a tabernacle, supplemented by a fourth step in which sacraments were kept behind a locked door. In the form of so-called sacrament houses, similar architectures served as a repository for the Eucharistic Body of Christ, mostly in the form of consecrated wafers. The important role attributed to the reliqua sacramenti, the consecrated wafers or bread in the Roman Catholic tradition, is also reflected in the effort and quality of the sacramental houses, some of which reached a considerable size.The model is also reminiscent of architectural models from the early modern period: Joos Metsys and Jan Beyaert's model of the west front Sint-Pieter in Leuven, built between 1525 and 1530, is one of the largest architectural models and originally rises about 8 metres in height. It was created after a large-format design drawing by Joos Metsys, so that in the event of his death the workers knew exactly how to proceed with the construction - and to better illustrate the three-dimensional structures.
Whether it served as a tabernacle or illustrated an architectural design, today the model itself stands in the foreground – and brings the fascinating European Gothic aesthetics to a contemporary space.

Published in: Raum für Objekte - Ariane Laue Kunsthandel, Kat. VI - Nr. 6, München 2019