Photo of the day (88): snails at Sebaldus shrine

The shrine of St. Sebaldus is supported by sculptures of snails. That is a nice work from the Renaissance.

St. Sebaldus is a patron saint of Nuremberg (in Bavaria, Germany). The bronze shrine of St. Sebaldus is in the middle of the St. Sebaldus Church in Nuremberg. It was made by German sculptor Peter Vischer the Elder (1455-1529) and his sons in 1508-1519.

There are 12 different snail sculptures holding the shrine. They all represent stylommatophoran land snails with right-handed shell. You can see four of them here:

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine

Snail sculpture at Sebaldus shrine. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

I cloud not found much information about these snail sculptures so it remains a mystery, at least for me. But I think that they were made for aesthetic purposes only, because snail shells are beautiful and shells would seem incomplete without live gastropods. I also try to present live gastropods on this blog instead of shells only.

You can see similar blog post about the same shrine at “(52) Nürnberg St. Sebald“, as well as other old sculptures of snails. And the whole blog “Hunting for snails ~ snails in art” is worth to read.

A short note about snails in the church is on “Reliquarian” blog post at “Winter of Discontent: Saint Sebaldus, Protector Against Cold Weather, Takes a Sabbatical“.

References

(in German) Sebaldusgrab. St. Sebald, Nürnberg. accessed 2019, February 12.

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1 thought on “Photo of the day (88): snails at Sebaldus shrine

  1. Hi, the “Roman snail” (= Helix pomatia) was a symbol for the resurrection in earlier centuries. Kind regards: Wolfgang Gibb, Germany

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