Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection

Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.

 

Julius Hübner (1842-1874), German
Wayside Devotion, 1871
OIL ON CANVAS, 28 x 24 inches
Gift of Horace Fairbanks

Julius Hübner's depiction of a roadside altar offers a quiet cel¬ebration of childhood piety. The two figures, perhaps grand¬father and granddaughter judging by their disparate ages, have stopped to pray on their way to or from their work in the field, as the hand-held scythe and water jug resting on the altar before them suggest. The girl prays to the figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

The art historian John Davis has elaborated on the appeal of this type of Catholic subject matter for Protestant artists and patrons in the United States, identifying it as a form of exoticism for those whose own religious traditions forbad such overt imagery.

 

 
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