Group was carved in 1517 by Master Paul - a leading renaissance artist active in Gdańsk at the time. Master Paul is relatively well-documented sculptor, with a number of commissioned works. His two others figures - Salvator Mundi and Mater Dolorosa are in St. Mary Church as well.

Sculptures from Crucifixion Group are rare example of monumental masterpiece (Christ is 4,5 m high) from Master Paul early period.


Conservation and restoration treatment was conducted in 2018 as a part of a revitalization project of St. Mary Church in Gdansk.


Some questions from this project are briefly presented below.

Sculptures are made of high quality lime. Only certain figur is hollowed. The Polychromy was applied using traditional gold techniques (water gilding) on chalk ground layer. Pigments like azurite and white lead, were bound with egg yolk.

Previous interventions

The group had a numerous re-paintings and changes made in later centuries. Sculptures were repeatedly gilded and partly overpainted (grey layer on cross section).

Previus intevention was made in 1962 and needed to be reconsider and improve.

Several techniques of cleaning were tested on different surfaces to evaluate best treatments. After mechanical cleaning, to remove rest of the dirt, water with Tris pH 7 was applied on a paint surface, and cyclomethicone on gilded parts. To remove subsequent layers - emulsion, oil or water binded in-paintings and a different kinds of varnishes - wilde rage of polar solvents like ethanol and butanol proved to be the most useful. For sensitive bole carbopol with dioxolane, formic acid and benzyl alcohol was mixed.

testing solvents for chemical cleaning

After cleaning and fixing polychromy with Salianski glue and Lascaux Medium for Consolidation, local disinfecting with permethrin was done.


Retouches in Paraloid B72 resin were kept to a minimum. Gold powder was used to repair gilded areas.

retouches was made with Paraloid B72 with selected pigments
removing subseqence materials with UV lamp / retouchings show up bright with a ultraviolet light 

Gilded halos, which were kept from the II World War in the storage, were fitted in its original place. Based on one ray found in St. John’s hand, another forty nine found in archive images were reconstructed.

Gold was burnished on transparent two-layered bole (orange-color bottom and dark intense red over).


Metal leafs were put only on part of the rays surface, to imitate sparkles.