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Summary

The ceiling fresco of the tower-room in Sárvár Castle follows with a few iconographic and compositional changes the fresco of Daniel Gran (1730) in the main hall of the Hofbibliothek (at present Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) in Vienna. The frescoes, in a bad condition and restored in 1960, were held to be works by Stefan Dorffmeister form the end of the 1760s. Mainly on the basis of its compositional qualities, the frescoes in Sárvár show many ressenblances with works by Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer, made in the 1750s and 1760s for Hungarian patrons, among them the ceiling of the Chapel in the Esterházy Castle in Pápa (1758), the dome-fresco of the Chapel (1964) and the ceiling in the main hall (1766/67) of the Palacee of Eszterháza. The closest relationship can be observed with the painted decoration of the state room of the Forgách Castle in Gács (Halič, Slovakia, early 1760s). The frescoes in S Sárvár can be dated according to the relationships of the owners before 1759, when the Castle belonged to Count Georg Szluha and his wife, Rosalie Sinzendorf (whose mother was a Countess Draskovich). The subject of the painting as well as the choice of the painter could be the result of the Szluha connection with the imperial court and also by the fact that his wife was related to Count Antal Grassalkovich. The latter was in contact with architects at the imperial court (N. Pacassi, J. N. Jadot), working with Mildorfer. The iconography of the tower-room represents a mixture of traditional iconography of libraries and of sale terrene, so its function as a private closet, a kind of Baroque studiolo can be supposed.

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Abstract

The paper analyses the baroque ceiling paintings of the Pauline pilgrimage church in Šaštín (Slovakia), signed in 1757 by Jean-Joseph Chamant, scene designer and theatre architect at the Vienna court and protégé of Emperor Franz I Stefan of Lorraine. In 1736 Franz Stefan purchased manors in the neighbourhood, thus became patron of the pilgrimage church in Šaštín, built in 1736–62. The Emperor and Queen Maria Theresa frequently visited the pilgrimage shrine while sojourning in their chateau in Holiè and contributed with significant donations to the construction of the church, and then to the decoration of the church interior: the high altar was commissioned by the Queen in 1762 and designed by the court architect Nikolaus Pacassi. According to archival sources Chamant's fee was paid by the Paulines, consequently the frescos can not be qualified as explicit court commission. Chamant was the primary contractor of the work, yet, being a scene designer, his contribution to the fresco cycle must have been limited to the painted architecture, including a trompe-l'oeil dome over the nave. The figurative compositions of the fresco cycle were carried out presumably by Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer, professor of the Vienna Art Academy, who received several court commissions in the 1750s. The fresco cycle consists of allegorical scenes referring to Christ's redeeming death, in correlation with the miraculous statue, a Pietà, placed on the high altar.

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Abstract

A recently purchased painting with the history of Esther before Ahasuerus can be identified as a pendant to Paul Trogers The child Moses before Pharaoh (Residenzgalerie, Salzburg). As the figure of Esther in the Budapest painting is evidently related to the Panitent Magdalen in a private collection in Trento from the Late 1720-s, even the datation of the Salzburg piece (1739/40) can be reconsidered. The ceiling sketch showing the Stoning of St. Stephen and St. John the Evangelist in the oil kettle can be identified on the base of a monogram as a work by Joseph Mages and identified as a preparatory sketch for his fresco in the nave of the parish church in Häder near to Augsburg. According to its provenance a retable painting with the Ascension of the Virgin which can be attributed to Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer could be made for a chapel in West Hungary. Its probably commissioners are the Dukes or the Counts Esterházy or the Town of Sopron. It shows a close relations mainly to the dome fresco in the castle chapel of Eszterháza (Fertőd, 1764), so it can be dated around 1765.

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Abstract

It is a commonplace that after the release of a new monograph so-far unknown works begin to rise to the surface one after the other. In the case of Johann Lucas Kracker the first to appear were parallel research results, of which most noteworthy are PetrArijčuk's attributions based on archival sources. He discovered the fourth member of the refectory series in the Franciscan monastery of Moravská Třebová (The Feast of St Francis, 1759) and made the daring identification between the high altar picture in the hospital church of St Elizabeth in Znojmo with the Assumption of the Virgin long missing from Slavonice. On the basis of data from the Premonstratensian archives of Nova Řiše Václáv Milek offered a more exact dating for the altar pictures of the abbey: the pictures delivered in 1760 preceded by years not only Kracker's frescoes in the same church but also the similar works at Jasov. The late altar pictures from Banská Bystrica and the paintings discovered around Jasov were probably created with the participation of the workshop.

The recently discovered oil sketches associated with Kracker proved to be by a follower of Daniel Gran, Josef Stern and by Andreas Zallinger. Nor is the pair of bozzetti acquired recently by the Diözesanmuseum of Brixen by Kracker or by Paul Troger; they must be small-scale copies of Kracker's side altarpieces in Prague or of their sketches, or again, copies of the – now lost – Troger works used as their models. One of them – The Death of St Joseph – was also found in another variant in the Viennese art trade. What were put up for auction in Budapest were workshop copies of a pair of cabinet pictures in the Gallery of Eger – Adoration of the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, around 1764 – true to the original colours, which means that they were made after the paintings and not their engraved models.

There is less novelty in the realm of frescoes. The division of labour in the decoration of the Šaštín church of pilgrimage is gradually clarified: in addition to Joseph Chamant and Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer, Kracker's contribution can be presumed to the painted decoration of two subsidiary chapels in 1757. The shared attributon of the parish church of Japons has to be revised: the Apotheosis of St Lawrence on the ceiling is also Kracker's work dated 1767. In the former Jesuit church of Eger wall probings brought to light not only the baroque ornaments on the lateral walls of the nave but also the backdrop in the chancel described in the sources and the original painting by Kracker's workshop on the high altar adorned with statues.

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