St. Getreu, Bamberg: Kreuzaltar

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 23 January 2010 in Art & Design.

The Holy Cross altar in St. Getreu. Light was a bit unfortunate.

What would you think how much money a janitor or overseer for this church would make? Precisely: a janitor for this church together with the much bigger St. Michael? We learned this when we had a conversation with that janitor who addressed us when we were going to leave St Getreu. Once he was a lorry driver, then he lost his job, and is now working in a temporary position where he has to care about two churches, including opening and closing them, doing small repairs, cleaning and everything else a janitor does. At Hartz 4 standard rate (the lowest social standard above total impoverishment) he earns €359,- a month. Ca. US$ 508,-

All this Baroque splendor, all the glory, the treasures, the witnesses of faith, the masterpieces of Franconian craftsmen and artists - managed by a single person who gets a pocket money.

Céline from New York City, United States

A really nice series ! You have an eye for this type of composition !

23 Jan 2010 7:34am

@Céline: Many thanks! But the composition is not that difficult. :-) With this kind of photography it's often a matter of light, if a shot works or if it doesn't.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

nicely done MS...can see the lighting was difficult but you've captured it well!

23 Jan 2010 8:14am

@Ted: Hee, hee - the capture was quite awful! It took me some time to get this result. But I like the compo, and the altar is too beautiful for not mentioning it here.

B.Held from Santa Fe, United States

brilliant lighting.

23 Jan 2010 4:59pm

@B.Held: After some repair work - maybe. :-)

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

A very good result in what must have been fairly low light conditions.

23 Jan 2010 5:28pm

@Curly: Upper half: too bright, lower half: too dark. No ND filter, no tripod. As always. :-)

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Beautiful capture of such ornateness. But I must say the design of the church doesn't really accommodate the altar. It seems like the altar was squeezed in here, particularly at the barrel vault ceiling.

23 Jan 2010 5:36pm

@Steven: This is the original and intended design; originally, the entrance to the church was opposite to this altar (at the viewer's position), so this would have been your first sight when entering the church.

Philip from South Wales, United Kingdom

Some things are worth doing and not for the money. Saying that, I take it he does not go out much with that income!

23 Jan 2010 9:58pm

@Philip: This is the absolute minimum. Although he also gets paid his rent, it's just a method for keeping him busy at minimum costs. There is a big chance that he will never return to a job with normal salary, and additionally these 1-Euro-jobs are destroying normal jobs, as an employer will mostly prefer the cheaper employee for service jobs.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

brilliant work :)

24 Jan 2010 1:31am

@MARIANA: Thanks, Mariana!

Peter from Amsterdam, Netherlands

I hope the State gives him the rest of the money to live off, if not it's just pocket-money.

Does he has to do the dusting too?

24 Jan 2010 9:05am

@Peter: Not so sure about this, there's probably a cleaning crew, but this guy is responsible for opening and closing the churches, repairs, having an eye on the tourists, everything at a minimum income. You can't even blame the church for this, as the building is in possession of a nearby clinic.

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

The light was against you here...but the lower half of the shot displays beautifully details in the woodwork, with all the gilt and trimmimgs. And...I like the effect light has here on the painting, the Christ looks here ghostly and suffering.

26 Jan 2010 4:28am

@Japanalia: A very Baroque meaning, where the crucifixion was particularly the depiction of suffering and pain. Protestant influence changed this later, Christ became the savior and triumphator over death.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

It's the product of policies intended to eliminate the financial security of the middle class, so we're all easier to control. People who have to worry about their next pay check are more concerned with survival than opposing the established order --and they have no means of equipping themselves for opposition when the situation becomes unbearable. I lived through the change in this country --from my youth, when a high school graduate could get a decent middle class income (like my father who drove trains), to current day, when a college degree in the sciences puts you at entry level wages for a small town cop and a high school diploma is a ticket to poverty.

31 Jan 2010 8:35pm

@Twelvebit: Right! And what is even more embarrassing is that 'normal' middle class people use welfare recipients as a welcome target for social distance. Whoever gets moved to the borders of society will never come back, and I think this is even more brutalizing a society than 'normal' crime.

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