A special iconographic interpretation of the Holy Trinity is represented by an engraving kept in the Strahov abbey library of the Premonstratensian canons of Prague. The print was made after Dionysius Strauss' drawing and is the artist's first extant holy image engraved in copperplate. In the monastery of Hradiško u Olomouce Strauss was regarded as the artist of the order respected for the inventiveness of his themes. It is a known fact from 1695 that he presented a painting on the birthday of prior Bernard Wanzke showing the crucified Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit with lambs feeding on the blood gushing forth from the Son's side. Undoubtedly, the graphic sheet marked “P. Dion. Straus delin. — J. Tscherning sculp.” was made after the lost painting. The words in the banderole above the composition “ut vitam habeant” (that they may have life) are from St John's gospel (Jn 10,10).
A somewhat modified variant of the theme is a copperplate engraving also from the late 17th century by Johann Gaspar Gutwein (1669–1730) who worked in Prague, Brno, Augsburg, Regensburg and Graz. The print marked “J. G. Gutwein sc. Brunae” probably adorned the flyleaf of a book. This precious specimen of my private collection shows an infant angel with clasped hands behind the cross, with a quotation from St Luke's gospel on the banderole falling down by its elbow: “… parata sunt omnia” (all things are now ready, Luke 14,17). The words refer to the feast of the flock of the Saviour. The blood and water from the side of Christ collected in a pearl-shell refer to the life-giving and maintaining sacraments of baptism and the eucharist from which the scrawny lambs will gain strength.
There is a little known 18th century oil painting in the St Maurice Benedictine monastery of Bakonybél. There are no inscriptions, but white lambs are feeding on the life-giving blood which has cleaned them, flowing from Christ's side into a bowl. The tree of paradise with the serpent is in the background to indicate that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was made in reparation of the original sin: Christ defeated Satan on the cross. This peculiar version of the Holy Trinity representations originated from catholic Moravia in the Tridentine revival of spirituality in Central Europe, as the above described depictions suggest.
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.
in der Frühbronzezeit (Csehország, Morvaország és a Kárpát-medence kora bronzkori kapcsolataihoz). BudRég 36, 211–221.
Czene A. 2008 Harangedények Budakalászon (Bell beakers at Budakalász). In: Ottományi K. (szerk.): Képek a