I noticed this statue as we were leaving the grounds of St. Trudpert’s Cathedral in Münstertal for the walk back to Staufen. Somehow I missed it on the way in.
Every child in Sunday School who has had to memorize Scripture can tell you that the shortest verse in the English-language Bible is “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). No-one ever seems to have trouble memorizing that one.
People remember the verse also as it shows Jesus’ humanity, grieving the death of his friend Lazarus – even though he knows it is not a final parting. It is a reminder that death and life are complicated; tears can be appropriate.
Sculptures incorporating water (fountains) are not uncommon. This one though is perhaps simpler than most. The water does not gush but drips, as tears do. It looks realistic.
I can’t decide if I like this statue. The head looks older than the Jesus I see in my mind’s eye. That spoils the effect a little. I can see though that it has potential to be a powerful piece of art.
This sculpture is the work of local artist Franz Gutmann, who also has a statue in the church cemetery. The two are quite different – I wouldn’t have thought they were by the same artist.
So much of how we react to art is intensely personal. I can see the way The Weeping Christ could speak powerfully to people on different levels. But because it doesn’t fit my image of Jesus it failed to impact me.
I much preferred the sculpture in the cemetery, which I gather is titled Hand. I can find a lot of spiritual significance in that one, when I take the time to contemplate it.
How do you react to The Weeping Christ?