James the Apostle, son of Alphaeus

The statue

James is leaning on a round staff. It is a fulling stick. “Fulling” means beating on wet woven or knitted clothing to make it proof and very strong. The staff refers to James being killed by a fanatic with a fulling stick in the year of 62.

The story

This James is often called James the Less or James the Just. James is regarded as the cousin of Jesus. James became the leader of the Christian Church in Palestine after Peter had travelled to Rome.

The facts

The sketch for the sculpture was made in 1821-23. The sculpture was completed in 1823 by Angelo Bienaimé or Francesco Bienaimé from Thorvaldsen’s sketch. Displayed in marble in 1838.