“There is no such thing as a religious free space!” Richard van Dülmen’s statement at the beginning of the third volume of his book “Kultur und Alltag in der Frühen Neuzeit” is decisive for the answer to the general question of this work, namely “How did the allegories of the four continents come into the village church?” Originating in the courtly world of the 16th century, the iconography had its peak on the walls and ceilings of Southern German village churches around the middle of the 18th century. A quantitative survey discovered 310 allegories of the four continents in 273 different places in the Southern German region. Every second allegory can be found as part of the visual program of a village church. A remarkable density is encountered in the so-called Erdteilallegoriengürtel covering the area of Upper Swabia, Bavarian Swabia, and Upper and Lower Bavaria. The relevant theoretical model used was the one on cultural exchange processes.
During the late Renaissance – around 1570 – humanists developed a new “shorthand” way of representing the world at a single glance: personifications of the four continents Europe, Asia, Africa and America. While the continent allegory as an iconic type had already been invented in antiquity, humanists and their artists adapted the concept by creating the four-continent scheme and standardized the attributes characterizing the continents. During the next 230 years until ca. 1800, this iconic scheme became a huge success story. All known media were employed to bring the four continent allegories into the public and into people’s homes. Within this prolonged history of personifications of the continents, the peak was reached in the Late Baroque, and especially the 18th century. As a pictorial language they were interwoven with texts, dogmas, narratives and stereotypes. Thus the project team find himself asking: What did continent allegories actually mean to people living in the Baroque age?
France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU, in association with
the Institute of Art History at the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Research Group for Baroque Ceiling Painting in Central Europe (BCPCE), have prepared International Summer Study Days on Baroque Ceiling Painting in Slovenia and Austria (Styria), on August 30 – September 5, 2017. The program contains visits of different monuments, presentations of student projects and
lectures by researchers from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and Slovenia.
International Summer Study Days on Baroque Ceiling Painting have been organised at the time of the exhibition Hercules Stiriae – Štajerski Herkul – Hercules of Styria. Following the Traces of Ignaz Maria Count of Attems’ Commissions of Frescoes in Slovenska Bistrica Castle (June 15 – December 31, 2017) and in the scope of the research program Slovenian Artistic Identity in European Context and research project Visual Representations of the Nobility. Early Modern Art Patronage in the Styria Province (No. J6-7410 (B), conducted at the France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana) financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency.
Baroque Parish Churches and Their Decoration: A New Field of Research
The Research Group for Baroque Ceiling Painting in Central Europe (BCPCE), the Institute for History of Art and Musicology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Region of Hradec Králové, and the Omnium Association will jointly host a symposium on the painterly decoration of parish churches of Catholic and Lutheran denominations in Vienna from the 23rd to the 25th of October, 2017. The event thus tackles a topic that has been treated rather negatively in the history of art history up until now, compared to the extensive research into the decorative programs of monasteries or pilgrimage churches. In this case, the analysis of the wall and ceiling painting – the core business of the BCPCE – only makes sense in the context of a broad historical contextualization. The general historical and churchhistorical framework must be discussed as well as theological and liturgical aspects of these churches. The period covered in this conference (1500–1800) was bracketed by confessionalism in the sixteenth century, and by the Josephine reforms in the late eighteenth century; the conference focuses on the geographic space with Central Europe largely governed by the Hapsburgs, as well as with Central Germany – that is, the essential parts of the old Holy Roman Empire.
Researching religious confraternities is a great challenge not only in the fields of general and church history but also in art history, as the activities of confraternities reflect strongly in fine arts. Confraternities connected European religious, cultural and artistic space in a way similar to monastic orders. Therefore, only a comprehensive understanding of their activities and role in fine arts can yield complex findings and new evaluation of these themes in a wider context.
Recently, several thousand photos of church interiors from Southern Germany have been uploaded into the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database (http://iconographic.warburg.sas.ac.uk), where they can be freely downloaded. Some 20,000 more images are waiting to be added. It is planned to link this collection with the Corpus der Barocken Deckenmalerei.
Following the principles of the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection, the metadata focusses on iconography. We describe subject-matter in a hierarchical system that allows us to place related subject-matters next to each other. In contrast to ICONCLASS, our system is flexible so that we can easily create new categories to describe innovative iconographies, which are so common in the Baroque. We include material in all media and from all countries (with a focus on Europe from Classical Greece to about 1800), so allowing users to note connections across time, space and materials. An entry on a painting in the crossing of Fürstenfeld Abbey may give an idea of our approach:
In addition to presenting our own photographs (up to now, only the sections on Mythology and Astrology of our Photo Collection have been systematically digitized), we also collaborate with other projects to make digitized material findable through iconographic classification. We have therefore evolved from being a digital photo collection towards a global iconographic research portal. A good example are our entries on some illuminated manuscripts from the Munich Staatsbibliothek, such as the Salzburg Missal.
Because European mural paintings often contain rich and complex iconographies and are comparatively little known, we would be very interested in collaborating with projects that are engaged in cataloguing them.
Das Generalthema des Schwerpunktes ist die visuelle Kultur der habsburgischen Repräsentation und der Versuch, diese in ihren unterschiedlichsten Ausformungen zu entschlüsseln. Unter „Repräsentation“ verstehen wir die Vergegenwärtigung von Abwesendem durch unterschiedliche Medien (z.B. durch Wappen, Bilder, Skulpturen, Medaillen, Deckenmalereien), aber auch durch symbolische Interaktion bzw. statische oder performative Kommunikation (Architektur, Raumordnung, Einzug des Herrschers, Fest). Im Zentrum steht dabei die Frage, in welcher Weise habsburgische Repräsentationsstrategien in Kunst und Architektur in den Österreichischen Erblanden sowie in den böhmischen Ländern und Ungarn zum Ausdruck kommen. Continue reading Die visuelle Kultur der Habsburgischen Repräsentation→
Current Research on Baroque Ceiling Painting in Europe
An international workshop “Current Research on Baroque Ceiling Painting in Europe”, including the Annual Meeting of the Research Group for Baroque Ceiling Painting in Central Europe, will take place in Munich, on October 5-7, 2016, organized by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, the Institut für Kunstgeschichte LMU, CbDD and BCPCE.
Krajina a venkov v baroku / Landscape and Countryside in Baroque
International conference, Horní Jiřetín and Jezeří Chateau, Czech Republic, October 14–15, 2016
The Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Omnium Association and the Town of Horní Jiřetín, in cooperation with the Departments of art history of the Czech universities, are organizing an international conference devoted to questions of landscape and countryside in the 17th and 18th centuries. The conference is focused on different aspects of formation and conception of the landscape and rural architecture and arts in the early modern era, but also on their present-day devastation. The program of the conference is enclosed.
The main objective of the centre is a cross-disciplinary analysis and interpretation of mechanisms, which may explain the cultural-historical reality throughout its long duration from the Middle Ages up to the resent. The centre intends to develop a synergistic link between research teams in the cultural-historical field at universities in Brno and Olomouc, which have for some time now been prominent in their use of such approaches. In addition there is also the intention to draw on cooperation with the most important Czech Republic researchers as well as with leading experts abroad (Wroclaw, Vienna, Paris, Lausanne). In this sense the project endeavours to link up various methodological approaches with subjects in the field, which will be monitored within the particular modules: The theory and practice of cultural-historical disciplines; Image, cult, space; Imagination, image and text; Representation, places of memory. Outputs from the project will be a series of monographs, articles and a final, methodologically targeted volume, in which all the modules will be involved.
Welcome to the blog of the Research Group for Baroque Ceiling Painting in Central Europe (BCPCE). In the next future, we would like to inform you about the activities of the group focused on monumental painterly decoration of Central European and Italian sacral and profane architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, on its documentation and art historical interpretation.
Herzlich willkommen auf der Blog- und Website der Forschungsgruppe für barocke Deckenmalerei in Zentraleuropa. Wir möchten über die Aktivitäten der Gruppe informieren, die sich auf monumentale gemalte Ausstattung in mitteleuropäischen und italiänischen Sakral- und Profanbauten des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, auf deren Dokumentation und deren kunsthistorischer Interpretation konzentrieren.
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Jozef Medvecký, senior research fellow of the Institute of Art History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The monograph Anjelský hrad v Karpatoch [Angels Castle in Carpathians] presents results of Jozef Medvecký’s long-time research into the residence of the Count Pálffy family at Červený Kameň (Western Slovakia) and its rich and splendid painterly decoration by Carpoforo Tencella (1623–1685), the famous painter from Bissone (Ticino, Switzerland).
Jozef Medvecký, Anjelský hrad v Karpatoch. Carpoforo Tencalla a ranobaroková výzdoba hradu Červený Kameň [Angels Castle in Carpathians. Carpoforo Tencalla and the Early Baroque Decoration of the castle Červený Kameň], Bratislava 2016