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.
Art historical and ethnographic literature has elaborated in detail the cultic history and iconography of Christ as Apothecary, the first synthesis of which theme does credit to Wolfgang-Hagen Hein. He found the patristic roots of the theme in St Augustine's Easter sermon “De doctrina christianae”, in which Christ is “ipse medicus”, “ipsa medicina” (doctor and medicine himself). In his book of 2002 Fritz Krafft also addressed himself to the theme. He names the eucharist, the oil and wine of the chemist as signs of the catholic sacramental liturgy. The ethnographic implications were exposed by Lenz Kriss-Rettenbeck and Leopold Schmidt. The earliest representation is the illumination in a manuscript of around 1519–1528 in which Christ is writing out a prescription for the first parents Adam and Eve. The picture type was disseminated in oil and glass paintings over the 17th and 18th centuries. The listed works are complemented with the presented copperplate engravings in the author's collection and the painted picture from the one-time pharmacy of the Ursulines in Vienna.
The author, a priest and art historian, is a collector and donator of art works of sacral contents, first of all small graphics. He has brought the special handcrafted pieces of mixed technique, the so-called nuns’ works to the attention of art historians. In an auction in Budapest in 2017 he managed to buy an 18th century copperplate engraving printed on silk and richly embellished with embroidery and pearls. It shows the miracle of striking water by the Hungarian king Saint Ladislaus. The cult of St Ladislaus in the baroque age is also perpetuated by folk hymns; together with the Holy Virgin (Patrona Hungariae) he is the patron of Hungary. Another of his acquisitions is an oval porcelain painting of the bust of St Dorothy from the 19th century. Unfortunately, he failed to get the third remarkable piece of art, another 18th century nuns’ work. It shows Empress Maria Theresa as St Elizabeth of Hungary distributing alms. Maria Theresa founded the episcopacy of Székesfehérvár in 1777 and ordered a new high altar for the cathedral. The high altar by Viennese painter Vinzenz Fischer shows the scene of placing the Holy crown, that is, the country under the Virgin Mary’s protection achieved by King St Stephen and in the sculpted parts St Elizabeth appears, too.
Information on the life of Saint Lazarus was collected by the scribe who continued the Chronicle of Theophanes. It was also elaborated by Kedrenos. He was born in Armenia and came to byzantium at a young age to become a painter and monk. In 832 Theophilus order the destruction of icons. To persuade Lazarus, he summoned him. The tortures of the painter were put an end to by Empress Theodora. In gratitude to her, he painted an icon of St John the Baptist which worked miracles after Theophilus' death, and then he painted a large icon of Christ. Emperor of Byzantium Michael III sent him to Rome in 856 to the newly elected Pope Benedict III to discuss the possibility of reconciliation between the two churches and restore unity. An uncertain source mentions his death during another mission to Rome in 867. He is allegedly buried in Galata in the monastery of Evanderes. His cult in the Roman church was actualized by the “iconoclasm” of the Protestants. The council of Trent – similarly to the second Council of Nicea earlier – decided in favour of the veneration of icons.
The finest specimens of St Lazarus's iconography were produced by the noted copperplate engraving workshops of Augsburg. The illustration dating from 1753 of the Life of Saints by Joseph Giulini was popular all over Europe. In the engraving by Christian Halbauer made after Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner of the episode of Lazarus' arrest Christ on the cross can also be seen. The most important depiction shows the sainted monastic painter in a baroque atelier, working on his painting of St John the Baptist in the monastery of Phoberon. The hagiographic series of Annus dierum Sanctorum was sold in a volume already in the age of its creation, between 1737 and 1742. The indispensable series for the research of baroque iconography was the outcome of the joint endeavour of Gottfried Bernard Göz, Joseph Sebastian and Johann Baptist Klauber in Augsburg. Among the historicizing painters of the 19th century, Domenico Morelli depicted the four monks persecuted by Emperor Theophilus in bright colours in 1855, with the icon of St John the Baptism hanging behind the four condemned monks.