Name of Object:

Holy Sepulchre


Zagreb, North-West Croatia, Croatia

Holding Museum:

Zagreb Cathedral Treasury

Date of Object:


Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):

Wolfgang Jacob Stoll  (First decade of the 17th century, Ingolstadt-14 October 1672, Graz)

Museum Inventory Number:

T 107

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Relief embroidery in gold thread; embroidery in various coloured silks on red and white satin.


H: 159 cm; w: 207 cm; d: 100 cm

Workshop / Movement:

Embroidery workshop of W. J. Stoll in Zagreb


Made for Zagreb Cathedral

Type of object:

High-relief embroidery of symbolic sarcophagus

Period of activity:

Around 1650–1667 in Zagreb

Place of production:



The golden thread relief embroidery for the sarcophagus-shaped Holy Sepulchre covers eight panels and contains 16 oval medallions bordered by gold cartouches. Within the medallions is an iconographic programme based on juxtaposing Old Testament scenes, announcing the Sacrifice of Christ, with corresponding scenes from the New Testament.
Within the lower oval cartouches are four embroidered scenes from the Old Testament: Abraham sacrificing Isaac, Moses with the brass serpent, Moses fighting the Amalekites, and the legend of the prophet Jonah and the sea monster.
In the triangular gables of the roof are scenes showing The Last Supper and the Resurrection
The longer sloping sides of the roof contain five scenes from the Passion of Christ: Christ on the Mount of Olives; Seizure of Christ or the Kiss of Judas; Christ before Caiaphas; the Scourging of Christ and the Crowning with thorns, on one side, and on the other, Pilate Revealing Christ (Ecce Homo); Christ Falling under the weight of the Cross; Crucifixion on Golgotha; the Deposition and the Burial.
The Holy Sepulchre is the work of Wolfang Jakob Stoll, commissioned from him by the Bishop of Zagreb, Petar Petretić, whom Stoll served from 1650 to 1667. Petretić was a great patron of the arts and actively promoted Croatian art heritage.
Stoll made many superb vestments most of which are stored in the Treasury in Zagreb Cathedral. The Holy Sepulchre is his greatest and most complex work and probably the only preserved example of an embroidered Christ's Sepulchre in Europe.
Stoll based his rendition of the biblical scenes on copperplate prints, which were at that time widespread in Europe. He worked mainly from the prints of Jan and Egidius Sadeler who found their inspiration in the paintings of Marten de Vos, Theodor Barendsz and Jacopo Tintoretto.
The decorative elements, such as festoons, genii, baskets of fruit and flowers, belong to the ornamental repertoire of Mannerism.
The Holy Sepulchre was first placed in the Cathedral in Passion Week before Easter on 13 April 1659

View Short Description

The golden thread relief embroidery of the Holy Sepulchre covers eight panels and contains 16 oval medallions bordered by gold cartouches containing scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
The Bishop of Zagreb, Petar Petretić, commissioned it from the German embroiderer, Wolfgang Jakob Stoll.

Original Owner:

Zagreb Cathedral Treasury

Current Owner:

Zagreb Cathedral Treasury

How date and origin were established:

Analysis of Stoll’s work includes vestments with a pluvial with the master’s name and the monogram of Bishop Petar Petretić. Contemporary documents in the cathedral archives confirm the commissions and the engagement of the above master.

How Object was obtained:

Commissioned for the cathedral, the Holy Sepulchre was destined for the Treasury from the outset.

Selected bibliography:

Horvat, A., O vezenom ciklusu Božjeg groba zagrebačke katedrale 1659 (On the Embroidered Cycle on the Holy Sepulchre in Zagreb Cathedral from 1659), Zagreb, 1967–68.
Pavelić-Weinert, V., Vezilačka radionica 17. st. u Zagrebu (Embroidery Workshop from the Seventeenth Century in Zagreb), Zagreb, 1988.

Citation of this web page:

Nela Tarbuk  "Holy Sepulchre" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2022.;BAR;hr;Mus11_A;19;en

Prepared by: Nela Tarbuk Nela Tarbuk

NAME: Nela

AFFILIATION: Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb, Croatia

TITLE: Museum Counsellor, Head of the Sacral Sculpture, Ivory and Musical
Instrument Collections

Nela Tarbuk was awarded her BA in Art History and Comparative Literature from Zagreb University (Faculty of Philosophy). As head of the Museum if Arts and Craft’s Sculpture, Ivory and Musical Instruments collections, she has curated several exhibitions and written many articles. Her special research interests focus on sacral furniture. Exhibition catalogues include Culture of the Paulines in Croatia (1989), Jesuit Heritage in Croatia (1992), Peace and Virtue (2000), Hidden Treasures (2005) and Musical Instruments from the Holdings of the Museum of Arts and Crafts (2007).

Translation by: Nikolina Jovanović
Translation copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: HR 19


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