Artworks Catalogue

Gornja Jelenska, Parish church of Saint John the Baptist, side altar of the Annunciationa (Photo by Croatian Conservation Institute, Goran Tomljenović, 2018)
Sculpture of Virgin Mary (Photo by Croatian Conservation Institute, Goran Tomljenović, 2018)
Sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist (Photo by Croatian Conservation Institute, Goran Tomljenović, 2018)

Location

Croatia, Sisak-Moslavina County, Gornja Jelenska

Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist (Župna crkva sv. Ivana Krstitelja)

Artwork

The side altar of the Annunciation in the Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist in Gornja Jelenska

Type

Side altar

Dimensions

Height: 360 cm, width: 190 cm, depth: 80 cm

Inscriptions

  1. 1764/1858/1934/1977 (in the cartouche)
  2. Altare HOC / SUB cura D. PaROChi Petre BVBStiCh Anno / 1778 / PER ELMOSyNAM CAPELLA ERRECTUM ES. PROT Et ALIA DVO / CATHEDRARIA PERPRIVS ID EST IN ANNO 1762 SVB LOCAM / PAROCHO APPOSITA PRAEESTITERUNT PRO GLORIA DEI Et SANCOTUM / Mr Sm honorem (on the high altar, behind the tabernacle)

Critical History

The church was built in 1756 when it was still a part of the parish of Velika Ludina. Gornja Jelenska acquired the status of a parish in 1789. The record of the canonical visitation in 1758 mentioned that two new mensas for the side altars had already been built whereas the retables would be constructed in due time thanks to the contributions by the parishioners. The main donor of the church was count [George] Erdődy, but the extent of his role for the commission of the side altars is still uncertain. 1
The right side altar was originally dedicated to Suffering Christ (Christi patientis). The first written record and description of that newly erected side altar was in the text of the canonical visitation in 1765, which noted it was skillfully made ("compendiose et affabre ellaborata").2 Doris Baričević attributed the altar to the workshop or followers of Veit Königer, with a remark that the sculptures show lower quality. 3
In 2018 Martina Ožanić attributed the altar to Franz Anton. 4 Due to several layers of repolychromy, and especially due to the last repolychromy of poor aesthetic qualities, it is difficult to discern the details of artistic expression. Neverthelss, the sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist demonstrates significant similarities in the pose, anatomy and the treatment of the drapery with, for example, the sculpture of Saint Joachim in Brezovica or Saint John the Evangelist in Velika Ludina, attributed to Franz Anton Straub. The sculpture of Virgin Mary shows close resemblances to the sculpture of Saint Anna in Kloštar Ivanić, or Saint Anna in Brezovica, also attributed to Franz Anton. The drapery on all the mentioned figures seems wet and firmly attached to the body, forming long, smooth surfaces on the thighs and short and shallow folds around the knees.

Given the lesser quality of the small putti on the attic, they were probably carried out by an unknown Franz Anton's assistant.

Construction / Execution

The altar is situated on the right side of the triumphal arch and is identical to its counterpart, the left side altar of Saint Barbara.The deep concave architecture of the retable consists of two pairs of columns flanking the central painting of Annunciation (unknown painter, 19th century?), with the sculpture of Virgin Mary standing on the left and the sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist on the right. The attic is entirely built of massive ornamental volutes with the central IHS monogram in glory, while two small putti sit on both ends of the entablature.

Components

Carpentry
Author: Franz Anton Straub (Wiesensteig 1726 – Zagreb ca. 1774)
Completed: 1762 – 1764
Patron(s): multiple, parishioners
Technique(s): sawing
Sculpture
Author: Franz Anton Straub (Wiesensteig 1726 – Zagreb ca. 1774)
Completed: 1762 – 1764
Patron(s): multiple, parishioners
Technique(s): wood carving
Polychromy
Completed: 1764
Technique(s): water gilding, woodgraining
Material(s): gold leaf, red bole
Polychromy
First repolychromy
Completed: 1858
Polychromy
Second repolychromy
Completed: 1934
Polychromy
Third repolychromy
Author: Nada Žagar
Completed: 1977
Material(s): metallic pigment
Polychromy
Third repolychromy
Author: Stjepan Pleše
Completed: 1977
Material(s): metallic pigment
Painting
Annunciation
Completed: ca. 1858
Technique(s): oil on canvas

Comment

The inscriptions in the cartouche (Ins. 1) document the year of altar's execution, as well as the following renovations, the last one being in 1977.

According to the record of the canonical vistation in 1765, it seems that both side altars were originally painted in brown colour (imitating wood) with all of the ornaments gilded, which is unique in Franz Anton's ouvre. The presence of painted walnut woodgrain and gilded areas in the first layer of polychromy was also confirmed by the conservation-restoration investigations.5

Conservation-restoration

2018–2019

Treatment Description

The conservation-restoration investigations were carried out by Karlo Vučković and Mislav Fleck from the private company REST-KON ART d.o.o.

Images

  1. Gornja Jelenska, Parish church of Saint John the Baptist, side altar of the Annunciationa (Photo by Croatian Conservation Institute, Goran Tomljenović, 2018)
  2. Sculpture of Virgin Mary (Photo by Croatian Conservation Institute, Goran Tomljenović, 2018)
  3. Sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist (Photo by Croatian Conservation Institute, Goran Tomljenović, 2018)

Catalogue entry prepared by Martina Ožanić and Ksenija Škarić

Recommended citation: Martina Ožanić and Ksenija Škarić, The side altar of the Annunciation in the Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist in Gornja Jelenska, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 12/11/2019) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Archive of the Archbishopric of Zagreb, Canonical visitations, Čazma Archdeaconry, protocol 108/IV, 1758
  2. Archives of the Archdiocese of Zagreb, Canonical visitations, Čazma Archdeaconry, protocol 108/IV, 1765
  3. Doris Baričević, Barokno kiparstvo sjeverne Hrvatske, Zagreb, 2008
  4. Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Conservation Department in Zagreb, Karlo Vučković, Mislav Fleck (REST-KON ART d.o.o.), Crkva sv. Ivana Krstitelja, Gornja Jelenska, bočni oltar Navještenja Marijinog, dokumentacija o izvršenim istražnim radovima, Samobor, 2019
  5. Martina Ožanić, Altaristika u opusu Franza Antona Strauba na području sjeverne Hrvatske – geneza motiva, utjecaji, odjeci, in: Peristil, 61, Zagreb, Društvo povjesničara umjetnosti Hrvatske, 2018, 65–87

Notes

1 Canonical visitations, Čazma Archdeaconry, protocol 108/IV, 1758, 112.: "... ad latera sunt item duae mensae noviter muratae erectae, super quibus nulla adhuc erecta ara, sed populi eleemosyna suo tempore elevanda."
"De collatore: Hujus beneficij collator excellentissimus dominus comes ab Erdoedy, judex curiae actualis, patrocinij sui non modica signa [signa] dedit, cujus ultronee protectioni sponsus una sua commendat sponsa." (Transcribed by Šime Demo)

2 Canonical visitations, Čazma Archdeaconry, protocol 108/IV, 1765, 254–255: "... in corpore arae duae noviter extructae, una a dextris, Christi Patientis, columna insidentis et arundinem in manu gestantis, compendiose et affabre ellaborata, colore nuceo picta, cyratis tamen omnibus inauratis, supra mensam posita lapidem intra columnas statua Sancti Joannis Evangelistae, in dextra parte columnae Dolorosae Matris; in superficie arae 2 angeli, virgam unus alter disciplinam repraesentat."  (Transcribed by Šime Demo)

3 Doris Baričević, 2008, 371

4 Martina Ožanić 2018, 79.

5 Karlo Vučković, Mislav Fleck, 2019, 7–10.