Sunday, April 7, 2019

Palm Sunday: The Palmesel

If you want to re-enact Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, you'll need a few things. Some people wearing they can take them off and lay them on the road. Some palm branches (well, maybe...see this week's Facebook post for more on that). Jesus on a donkey.

Fortunately, German sculptural tradition provided the last through a form called a palmesel (palm donkey). The figure of Jesus, usually about half life-size, is seated on the donkey, and the sculptural group is on a wheeled platform pulled through a town or city as part of Palm Sunday processions. Townspeople spread their cloaks, along with palm branches, on the ground before the Palmesel. Just like they did in the gospel accounts.
 (Left) Dominikus Debler. Der Palmesel Debler IX, 491 (S. 113). c. 1800. Die Chronik des Dominikus Debler. 1756-1836. Schwäbisch Gmünd.  (right) Palmesel. 15th century. 61 1/2 x 23 3/4 x 54 1/2 in.NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art (Cloisters Collection). 

You can see a short film about a contemporary Palm Sunday procession through two towns in Austria that incorporates a palmesel here

This week on Art&Faith Matters on Facebook, one more thing you need for a re-enactment of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. 
For Psalm 118:19-29, click here
For Luke 19:28-40, click here
For Matthew 21:1-11, click here.
For Palm/Passion Sunday, click here. 

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