The Straub Family

Franz Anton Straub (1726–1774/76)

Of the five Straub brothers who dedicated their lives to sculpting, the youngest Franz Anton settled and worked in Zagreb during the 1760s. He was born in 1726 in Wiesensteig, but the exact year of his death has not been confirmed by archival documents. It is assumed that he died between 1774 and 1776. Furthermore, there are many uncertainties about his life. It is still unknown where he did his apprenticeship, but it can be presumed that he was an apprentice to his older brother Philipp Jakob in Graz, which would suggest that he moved to Zagreb as a mature sculptor. Written sources are quiet about his life in Zagreb. Not a single contract, receipt or names of his workshop assistants have been preserved in archival records. His name was first recorded during his daughter’s christening in 1763, but he must had settled in Zagreb before that time, probably during the 1760s, because the earliest works attributed to him date to that period. In the short period of over just ten years, how long he lived in Zagreb, he became one of the leading artists responsible for numerous altars and pulpits that represent outstanding achievements in sacral heritage of continental Croatia – Pakrac, Karlovac-Banija, Lužnica, Vugrovec, Čučerje, Kostajnica, Velika Ludina, Kloštar Ivanić, Marija Gorica, Kutina, Brezovica, Pakrac, Prepolno. His art is a harmonious combination of construction, often complex compositions presenting imaginative solutions, and richly carved rocaille ornamentation, as well as sculptures displaying full body volumes with emotional gestures and elegant individuality.