The Guardians of the Holy Sepulchre
statues, wood, ca 1560
These two statues of the Guardians of the Holy Sepulchre are examples of the highest quality sculptures of the 16th century in Slovenia. The statues, young and old warriors, were probably once part of a bigger composition of the Resurrection of Jesus. They were initially kept in the monastery of the Poor Clares in Mekinje, near Kamnik. They represent the only example of the artistic influence of the Italian sculptor Michelangelo Buonarotti within the Slovene sculptural heritage. They repeat eclectically his seated statues in the Medici Tomb near San Lorenzo in Florence. The Mekinje statues are supposed to have been made around 1560 and they came to Slovenia from Italy, or at least to us from the closer Gorizia.