Artworks Catalogue

The main altar in Pakrac (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
The main altar in Pakrac, detail (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
The main altar in Pakrac, detail (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
Tabernacle, detail (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
The sculpture of angel (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Nikolina Oštarijaš, 2011)
The main altar in Pakrac (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Đuro Šimičić, 2001)

Location

Croatia, Požega-Slavonia County, Pakrac

Parish church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Župna crkva Uznesenja Blažene Djevice Marije)

Artwork

The high altar of the Parish church in Pakrac

Type

High altar

Dimensions

Height: 745 cm, width: 440 cm

Inscriptions

  1. F.T.E.P.Z / 1760 (on the backside of the retable)
  2. 1760 (on the left side of the stypes)
  3. MRIA (monogram on the top of the altar)
  4. ČIPOR NIKOLA 1942. / DAROVALI SUPRUZI ALOJZIJA I LUJO HUNJAK – (in the lower left corner of the painting)
  5. OVU SLIKU DAROVALI SUPRUZI HUNJAK 942 (on the edge of the stretcher)
  6. IHS (monogram in the repolychromy on the lower part of the tabernacle, removed in the 2003–2013 restoration)
  7. Stipo Strimnović Zvonar 1868 (on the backside of the attic)

Critical History

The main altar of the Blessed Virgin Częstochowa was built in 1760 (Ins. 1) and described for the first time in the record of the canonical visitation on the 16th May 1761.1 The altar was donated by the bishop Franciscus Tauszy who also donated the panel painting of the Blessed Virgin Częstochowa brought from Poland. This painting was replaced in 1844 by an oil on canvas representing the Virgin with Child (Salus Populi Romani) delivered from Pecs.2 In 1942 this painting was replaced by a much larger one, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, made after Tizian’s Assunta by Nikola Čipor and donated by Lujo and Alojzija Hunjak (Ins. 4 and 5).

The altar was attributed to Franz Anton Straub by the art historian Doris Baričević based on the comparison with the sculptural work of his brothers.3 The tabernacle originates from the same time and is attributed to the same sculptor. In its niche the tiny figures of Jesus and flying angel on the Olive Mountain are placed, but the sculptures of adorning angels are any more non-existent.

Construction / Execution

From the backside the construction was additionally tied by the transversely added wooden planks fixed with forged nails.

Components

Carpentry
Author: Franz Anton Straub (Wiesensteig 1726 – Zagreb ca. 1774)
Completed: 1760
Patron(s): Franciscus Thauszy, bishop
Technique(s): sawing
Material(s): softwood
Sculpture
Author: Franz Anton Straub (Wiesensteig 1726 – Zagreb ca. 1774)
Completed: 1760
Patron(s): Franciscus Thauszy, bishop
Technique(s): sawing, wood carving
Material(s): linden
Painting
Blessed Virgin Częstochowa
Patron(s): Franciscus Thauszy, bishop
Technique(s): panel painting, tempera
Painting
Salus Populi Romani
Author: Petar Traber
Completed: 1844
Technique(s): oil on canvas
Painting
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Author: Nikola Čipor
Completed: 1942
Patron(s): Alojzija Hunjak, individual devotion; Lujo Hunjak, individual devotion
Technique(s): oil on canvas
Polychromy
Completed: 1760
Patron(s): Franciscus Thauszy, bishop
Technique(s): oil gilding, tempera, water gilding
Material(s): malachite, proteinaceous binders, red bole, silver leaf
Polychromy
First repolychromy
Technique(s): casein, oil gilding
Material(s): brass leaf, lead white, malachite, polysaccharide, protein, vermillion, zink white
Polychromy
Second repolychromy
Completed: 1868
Polychromy
Third repolychromy
Author: Josip Muravić ( 1868 – Slavonski Brod 1946)
Completed: 1907
Polychromy
Fourth repolychromy
Completed: 1973
Material(s): metallic pigment

Comment

The copy of Tizian's Assunta iz now on the retable, while the painting by Petar Traber is placed in the parish house.

During the conservation-restoration research in 2003 between two and four repolychromies were discovered, depending on the position on the altar.4 The Ins. 7 proves one of the earlier renovations took place in 1868, while the renovations from 1907 and 1973 were mentioned in the Parish chronicle. In the course of the 2003–2013 restoration all the repolychromies were removed apart from the green colour from the first repolychromy of the curtain, which was preserved.

Conservation-restoration

1992

Strategy: removing dirt

Treatment Description

In 1991 the church tower was hit and destroyed. The roofing was completely burnt in fire. 5 In 1992 the painting and the sculptures were dismantled and evacuated to Zagreb by the restorers of the Restoration Institute of Croatia.6

1996

Treatment Description

Preliminary research and consolidation were carried out.

2003–2013

Strategy: removing dirt, removing one or several historic repolychromies, removing partial repairs, removing varnish

Approach to the presentation of losses

Reintegration of lacunae – mimetic: total

Reconstruction of losses: total

Materials: 3M Spray Mount, acetone, ammonium salts, Bologna chalk, demineralized water, epoxy filler, ethyl alcohol, gelatin, gold leaf, gold powder, gouache, Hydro-Grund, Japanese tissue, Klucel G, linden, mastic resin, Pappina Fiorentina, Plextol 500, PVA adhesive, rabbit-skin glue, red bole, Regalrez 1094, Shellsol T, silver leaf, silver powder, softwood, Tinuvin 292, watercolours, wooden pins, yellow bole

Treatment Description

The altar was heavily damaged during the Homeland war (1991–1995) when the church was hit and left without roofing for years. The conservation-restoration treatment was carried out in the Croatian Conservation Institute from 2003 to 2013, led by Miroslav Pavličić. The two layers of repolychromy were removed, apart from the green colour of the curtain, which was preserved due to the vulnerability of the green glaze on silver leaf from the polychromy.7

Images

  1. The main altar in Pakrac (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
  2. The main altar in Pakrac, detail (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
  3. The main altar in Pakrac, detail (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
  4. Tabernacle, detail (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Ljubo Gamulin, 2013)
  5. The sculpture of angel (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Nikolina Oštarijaš, 2011)
  6. The main altar in Pakrac (Croatian Conservation Institute Photo Archive, photo by Đuro Šimičić, 2001)

Catalogue entry prepared by Martina Wolff Zubović and Ksenija Škarić

Recommended citation: Martina Wolff Zubović and Ksenija Škarić, The high altar of the Parish church in Pakrac, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 24/04/2019) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Archives of the Archdiocese of Zagreb, Canonical visitations, Gušče and Svetačje Archdeaconry, protocol 31/III, 1761
  2. Parish archive Pakrac, Liber memorabilium Parochiae Pakracensis sub spiritualibus obsequiis Friderici Huses, parochi Pakracensis, anno 1836. in authumno caeptus
  3. Doris Baričević, Članovi kiparske obitelji Straub u Hrvatskoj, in: Peristil. Zbornik radova za povijest umjetnosti, 35–36, Radovan Ivančević (ed.), Zagreb, 1992–1993, 193–218
  4. Martina Wolff Zubović, Glavni oltar pakračke župne crkve: izvorni koncept i njegove preinake, in: Portal, godišnjak Hrvatskog restauratorskog zavoda, 6, Krasanka Majer Jurišić, Ana Azinović Bebek (ed.), Zagreb, Croatian Conservation Institute, 2015, 113–126, URL
  5. Croatian Conservation Institute, Miroslav Pavličić, Izvješće o provedenim konzervatorsko restauratorskim radovima na glavnom oltaru župne crkve Uznesenja Blažene Djevice Marije u Pakracu, 2014
  6. Miroslav Pavličić, Martina Wolff Zubović, Radovi u 2013. godini: Pakrac (on CD), in: Portal, godišnjak Hrvatskog restauratorskog zavoda, 5, Krasanka Majer Jurišić, Ana Azinović Bebek (ed.), Zagreb, Croatian Conservation Institute, 2014, 127–128, URL

Notes

1 Canonical visitations, Gušče and Svetačje Archdeaconry, protocols 31/III, 1761: “Arae in ea sunt tres. Prima major Beatae Virginis ad normam Chestakoviensis in lignea integra. Tabula per Suam Episcopalem Excellentiam, cujus munificentia tota haec ara de novo surrexit, ex Polonia procurata. Ara haec est contignationum duarum, in cujus primae medio praefata imago a duobus ex utroque latere collocatis angelorum statuis veluti sustentatur, altera manu candelabrum gestantibus. Imago ornatur lista arcularii sculptoriique laboris pereleganti. Corona imperiali eidem supereminente, errecta ad quodvis latus columna una. Superior contignatio. Ex baldachino toti arae incumbente deflua vela, quae gentilitium Suae Excellentiae insigne circumdant et usque ad imaginem memoratam pertingentia representant. Tota est arculario et sculptorio labore ad architecturae regulas errecta et suis decorata ornamentis; tota item partim coloribus diversa marmora referentibus, partim auro picta, seu ad elegantiam, seu prefectionem quorundam iuditio deesse videtur, quam quod a proportione altitudinis et latitudinis ipsius sanctuarii deficere censeatur; qui tamen defectus, si defectus est, levi respective impendio corrigi potest.” (Transcribed by Irena Bratičević)

2 Martina Woff Zubović, 2015, 119; Liber memorabilius Parochiae Pakracensis: "Anno eodem 1844., die 5. Junii, antiquae arae majoris imagini Ecclesiae Matris titulari Beatissimae Virginis in molli assere pictae jamve vermibus absumptae nova in tela 5-Ecclesiis picta substituta; una novum nitidum coloris albi baldachinum ac duo nova vexilla coloris rubri, sumptibus Ecclesiae habita, praevie Sacri Officii dioecesani indultu procurata sunt." (Transcribed by Šime Demo)

3 Doris Baričević, 1993, 214–215.

4 Miroslav Pavličić, 2014.

5 Liber memorabilium: "28. IX 1991. Srbi su zapaljivim metcima zapalili toranj župne crkve u Pakracu. Tom prigodom su se sva četiri zvona rastopila. Oko 4. X. 1991. zapaljeno je i krovište župne crkve te je kompletno izgorilo. Tako je crkva ostala i bez tornja i čitavog krovišta." (On 28th September 1991, the Serbs set the bell-tower of the parish church in Pakrac on fire using incendiary ammunition. On that occasion, all four bells melted. Around 4th October 1991, the roof of the parish church was also set on fire and it completely burned down. Hence, the church was left without a tower and without the entire roof.)

6 Idem: "Polovicom siječnja mjeseca g. župnik je sa ekipom iz Restauratorskog Zavoda Hrvatske došao u par navrata u sasvim razrušen Pakrac i to gotovo na samu prvu liniju fronte, župnu crkvu, radi evakuacije vrijednih predmeta iz crkve. uz crkveno posuđe koje je župnik već ranije evakuirao u Zagreb, ovom smo zgodom ponijeli i sve crkveno ruho, svijećnajke, knjige, umjetničke dijelove oltara i neke kipove te orgulje. Orgulje i umjetnine su deponirani u RZH-u, misno ruho u Riznici zgb. katedrale a ministrantska odijela kod č. sestara sv. Križa na Vrhovcu u Zagrebu. Nažalost, nadsakristija sa svim inventarom je potpuno izgorjela." (By mid-January, the parish priest and a team from the Conservation Institute of Croatia visited the completely devastated Pakrac and the parish church, which was almost on the front line, to evacuate valuable objects from the church. Along with the liturgical vessels that the pastor had earlier evacuated to Zagreb, we also extracted all the ecclesiastical vestments, candelabra, books, altarpieces, and some statues, as well as the organ. The organ and the artwork were deposited in the Conservation Institute of Croatia, mass vestments at the Treasury of Zagreb Cathedral and the altar server vestments with the Sisters of the Holy Cross on Vrhovac in Zagreb. Unfortunately, the sacristy had burned down and the entire inventory was lost.)

7 Miroslav Pavličić, 2014; Miroslav Pavličić, Martina Wolff Zubović, 2014.