Antoon Hermans; an apprentice but also a master craftsman.

18-07-2016

Antoon Hermans.jpgAntonius Petrus Hermans ( Oss 1822 - Roermond 1897)

Just like his three older brothers,  Antoon Hermans followed an apprenticeship as a goldsmith with his father in Oss and later with his brother in Eindhoven. He opened his own goldsmith's workshop in 1854. Business was good. Hermans married his sister in law J. M. Smits from the Oranjeboom brewing family.

He was an important person in Eindhoven cultural circles. He bought many works of art and his preference was for neo-gothic.  Vincent van Gogh sometimes used these antiquities to copy them in his still lifes.  In 1875 he sold 800 works of art to the Netherlands Museum of History and Art, later to become the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He was also an amateur photographer and painter.

Hermans was one of Vincent van Gogh's painting students. He also commissioned Vincent to paint scenes depicting the four seasons in the dining room of his splendid house (built by Pierre Cuypers) in the Keizersgracht in Eindhoven.  Van Gogh wrote about this in his letters in 1884.

Zilversmeedwerk A. Hermans.JPG

All these objects are the property of the Eindhoven Museum (formerly  Museum Kempenland) and have been loaned to the Vincentre:

Chalice:  The chalice is used during Mass in Catholic churches to put wine in. After being consecrated by the priest the wine in this chalice symbolically becomes the blood of Jesus Christ. This is a very sacred part of the Mass and so most chalices are unusually and lovingly decorated. The raised part of this chalice's round base has three medallions featuring three nails, a crucifix and a lance. The central pear-shaped node and the partially gilded cuppa are decorated with motifs.

Ceremonial cup: an ornately decorated cup that is richly decorated with silver ornaments. Ceremonial cups were given as presents at special occasions. This cup was presented by council members to the Mayor of Eindhoven, Johannes Smits van Oyen on the occasion of his 25th anniversary in 1878.

Ciborium: The ciborium is used during Mass in Catholic churches to contain the hosts. The ciborium usually has an upright crucifix on the lid. The inside of the chalice is usually gold plated. Chalices and ciboria should be made of strong, precious metals (silver and gold) because these vessels are used to contain the body and blood of the Lord. This ciborium comes from the collection of  a Jesuit order.

Wall-mounted candelabra: This is a large candle stick. A candelabra is usually ornately decorated and has a particular shape. This candelabra comes from a private German collection. The Eindhoven Museum has two of them, they belong together.

Ostensory:   An ostensory (or 'monstrance') is a container, usually made from gold or silver in which the consecrated hosts are displayed in church or during a procession. Believers can worship the hosts in silence. The design stems from the Middle Ages. In those days they were mostly used to contain holy relics, later on the ostensories displayed consecrated hosts behind the  glass.

This ostensory is in the form of rays of the sun on a base. The centre of the sun comprises two round glass plates between which the host is encased.

Silver dish: It is not known what this was used for, but the expensive material suggests it was for special occasions.

Dish with appliqué ornaments: This dish was given as a present to the  Reverend Willem Steijvers by his parishioners on 15 June 1870. This was to celebrate his fifty years as a priest.

Set of neo-gothic ampoules: One ampoule is used during the Catholic Mass to pour wine into the communion chalice. The other ampoule is used for washing hands and cleaning the chalice. These are two richly decorated neo-gothic ampules, meaning they were inspired by the (building and art) styles of medieval gothic. These neo-gothic ampoules were purchased at an auction in northern Germany. 

Statuette of Pope Pius IX (1792 - 1878): Pope Pius IX was pope from 1846 to 1878, a very long period during which 206 new diocese were established.  This pope witnessed an end to global papal power, in which the church relinquished control over the Papal States, including the city of Rome, to the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. From 1870 he considered himself to be a prisoner in the Vatican and rejected any form of collaboration with the Italian State. In 1854 he proclaimed the dogma (a religious doctrine or position) of the Immaculate Conception and in 1869 he summoned the Vatican Council together, during which the infallibility of the Pope was approved as dogma. Pope Pius IX was beatified in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. But this provoked criticism because his attitude toward the Jews was controversial.