The baroque confessionals
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The ten confessionals in the side aisles form an encyclopaedia, which is rich in sculptures, of the Dominican history and spirituality. The visitor is invited to consider good and evil by the language of the pictures and induced to demonstrate his penitence. These confessionals date from the years 1658-1660 and were sculptured in oak in the workshop of Peter I Verbruggen.

 

The two series's of each five confessionals in the southern and northern aisle form a hagiographic chess game. There are numerous ties with the opposite site. Peter stands across from his brother Andrew and John vis-à-vis his brother Jacob. These four apostles were the most popular saints of the mariner's district since they were fishermen themselves.

 

Peter I Verbruggen himself made the confessionals in the northern aisle, while the southern ones could have been made by members of his workshop. The ensemble is a masterpiece of Antwerp's art of sculpture and testifies to an inexhaustible imagination.

You find about 500 angels in the work, each armed with attributes. They typify the feelings in the soul of the sinner, the virtues to which he aspires and the sacraments in which he seeks refuge. The playful putti testify to an upright zest for life.

Besides perfectly plastic, life-sized sculptures you become aware of the decorations and the abundance of low reliefs with panels of the life of Mary, like the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Adoration of the Magi. Small half-exalted sculptural art with a vital force, which takes you by surprise!

 








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