Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross by Virginia Maksymowicz

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Artist’s Statement

In the year 2000, I was awarded a major commission by St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for fourteen separate relief sculptures and a complete set of full-scale drawings representing the Stations of the Cross.

This commission gave me the opportunity to apply my own contemporary vision to an artistic form that dates back to the 13th century. It is said that St. Francis of Assisi popularized the devotion after it became too dangerous to make pilgrimages to the holy places in Jerusalem. Since that time, the well-known iconography of the Stations has played a significant role in the canon of western art history, one that has enthralled artists from Jan van Eyck to Damien Hirst.

For both aesthetic and conceptual reasons, I felt it imperative to work with a variety of models—a total of eleven, culled from a wide range of ages and ethnicities. I wanted the narrative of Christ’s passion and death to be represented in a way that is tensioned between the “specific” and the “universal.”

Two sets of the relief sculptures were made: one for St. Thomas and a second that toured around the United States (including the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral) until 2022, when they found a permanent home at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle.

The original drawings are owned by St. Thomas. On display here are charcoal-enhanced, inkjet prints made to scale. – V.M.