2019 / 2 / 15

The examination of selected artworks by Philipp Jakob Straub

A pilot project of the Institute for Art History (University of Graz) and the Institute for Geodesy (Technical University Graz)

In summer 2018 the actual leader of the Austrian TrArS-team Prof. Margit Stadlober from the Institute of Art History of the University of Graz initiated a pilot project in collaboration with the Institute for Geodesy of the Technical University Graz. Its main goal was to determine the exact dimensions of selected sculptures by Philipp Jakob Straub on seven locations in Styria, but also three-dimensional models for ongoing research work were created during the surveying works. They were executed by Prof. Viktor Kaufmann, who is specialised in photogrammetry, and a group of students, using hoisting devices. Several surveys from different positions were taken to cover the sculptures’ surfaces as complete as possible. Using different lighting and post-production procedures, it was possible to read the preserved parts of the very damaged inscription at the pedestal of a sculpture of St Leonard in southern Styria. Arthistorically significant factors, such as the depth of different cavities (drilled curls, garment folds, nostrils etc.) or the detailedness of the elaboration of surfaces (like tool marks) can so be detected more easily, which may help with the allocation to an artist. Together with style-critical and restoration examinations, a comprehensive analysis of the artwork would be achieved.

Christina Pichler