Artworks Catalogue

Pulpit, Laxenburg Parish Church, former Schwarzspanierkirche (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation, 2005)
Prophet Isaiah (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
Prophet Jeremiah (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
Relief with the Sermon of St. John the Baptist (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
Relief with The Sermon of St. Paul at the Aeropag (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
Canopy with the Apotheosis of St. John the Evangelist (Archdiocese Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)

Location

Austria, Lower Austria, Laxenburg

Parish Church Exaltation of the Cross (Pfarrkirche Kreuzerhöhung)

Original location:

Austria, Vienna

Benedictine Abbey Church Our Lady of Monteserrato (Schwarzspanierkirche)

Artwork

The pulpit of the former Schwarzspanierkirche in Laxenburg

Type

Pulpit

Dimensions

Height: 750 cm, width: 330 cm, depth: 200 cm

Inscriptions

  1. QUIESCITE AGERE PERVERSE ISA 1 V16 (on the scroll of Isaiah)
  2. FASCITE IUDICIUM ET IUSTITIAM Jere 22 V3 (on the tablet of Jeremia)h.
  3. DEUS ERAT VERBUM / JOHANNI (in the open book held by the putto on the pulpit ceiling

Critical History

The former pulpit of the Schwarzspanierkirche has been attributed to Johann Baptist Straub since Johann Kasper Lippert published the earliest biography of the artist in 1772, while Straub was still alive.1 The abbot of the Benedictine Monastery de Monte Serrato in Vienna, P. Anton Vogl von Krallern, commissioned the artwork to the young sculptor in 1730, when Straub was 26 years old. This commission was the first he undertook on his own, probably he employed also his younger brother Philipp Jakob, who stayed with him in Vienna from 1727 to 1733.2 Johann Baptist returned to Munich in winter 1734/35, which sets the date of the completion.3 The consecration of the church was in 1739. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Emperor Joseph II. the former Abbey Church Our Lady of Monteserrato was profaned in 1784. Under Court-Architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, who was renovating the parish church in Laxenburg at the time, the pulpit was transferred to its new place.4

The completely gilded pulpit with its figural decoration of outstanding quality and its rich rocaille elements may be called a pivotal example of Munich Rococo; it has no equivalent within Austrian sculpture of the 1730ies.5 Sitting on the outside of the basket are two nearly life-size figures: on the left side Isaiah, on the right side Jeremiah. Between the two prophets are two reliefs, depicting the sermon of St. John the Baptist (left) and the sermon of St. Paul on the Aeropag (right), in the center a figural group of two putti holding a church model.6 On the left side of the rear panel of the pulpit, the Angel of the Last Judgement shows his sword. Underneath the canopy, a dove is representing the Holy Spirit, on top of the pulpit the artist sculpted the Apotheosis of St. John the Evangelist, a highly agitated pyramid of clouds with the saint topped by the Holy Trinity.

Construction / Execution

The wooden pulpit consists of a basket with figural decoration and an acoustic canopy with sculptures. A rear panel, which is fixed to the wall on the left side of the main altar, connects both parts; the door opens to a staircase leading down to the sacristy. Though not made for Laxenburg, the position of the pulpit within the building corresponds closely with the original situation in the Schwarzspanierkirche. Probably only minor alterations were required for the installation 1785.

Components

Sculpture
Author: Johann Baptist Straub (Wiesensteig ca. 1704 – Munich 1784)
Completed: 1730 – 1734
Patron(s): Anton Vogl von Krallern, abbot
Technique(s): wood carving
Material(s): wood
Carpentry
Completed: 1730 – 1734
Patron(s): Anton Vogl von Krallern, abbot
Technique(s): sawing
Material(s): wood
Polychromy
Polychromy
Completed: 1730 – 1734
Patron(s): Anton Vogl von Krallern, abbot
Material(s): gold leaf
Polychromy
First Re-Gilding
Author: Urban Gräßl
Completed: 1785 – 1785
Patron(s): multiple, parishioners; Joseph Dreyer, priest
Polychromy
Second Re-Gilding
Author: Alois Mayer
Completed: 1886 – 1886
Patron(s): multiple, parishioners

Comment

The original gilding as well as the re-gilding from 1785 are no longer visible; according to the file kept in the Department for Art and Conservation of the Archdiocese of Vienna no technical analysis of the artwork is documented, as well as any records of the former restorations.7

Conservation-restoration

1785

Approach to the presentation of losses

Repolychroming: total

Materials: gold leaf, silver leaf

Treatment Description

After the parish bought the former pulpit of the Schwarzspanierkirche for 120 fl. it was dismantled, transferred to Laxenburg, built into the new setting and completely gilded. An amount of 300 fl. was paid to the gilder Gräßl, probably the "Kammervergoldter Herr Urban Gräßl", at that time the only court gilder mentioned in the in the Kaiserlich-Königlicher Hof- und Ehrenkalender Wien, Ghelensche Erben, 1793.

1886

Approach to the presentation of losses

Repolychroming: total

Materials: gold leaf, silver leaf

Treatment Description

Restored by the Viennese gilder Alois Mayer.

1991

Treatment Description

Re-gilding by Karl Kratochwill, 1030 Wien.

Images

  1. Pulpit, Laxenburg Parish Church, former Schwarzspanierkirche (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation, 2005)
  2. Prophet Isaiah (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
  3. Prophet Jeremiah (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
  4. Relief with the Sermon of St. John the Baptist (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
  5. Relief with The Sermon of St. Paul at the Aeropag (Archdiocese of Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)
  6. Canopy with the Apotheosis of St. John the Evangelist (Archdiocese Vienna, Department of Art and Conservation)

Catalogue entry prepared by Julia Strobl

Recommended citation: Julia Strobl, The pulpit of the former Schwarzspanierkirche in Laxenburg, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 22/05/2019) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Archive of the Scot's monastery (Archiv des Schottenstifts), Vienna, SA, Scr. 43/11, 1739
  2. Johann Caspar Lippert, Kurzgefaßte Nachricht von dem churbaierischen ersten Hofbildhauer Herrn Johannes Straub, in: Augsburgisches monatliches Kunstblatt. Kunstzeitung der kaiserlichen Akademie zu Augsburg, 1772, Nr. 54f
  3. Parish Archive Laxenburg, PfA, Kirchenrechnungen 1784, 1785
  4. Provincial Archive of Lower Austria, NÖLA, N.Ö. Reg., Akt C32, Zl. 977, 1785
  5. Albert Ilg, Die Pfarrkirche in Laxenburg, in: Berichte und Mittheilungen des Alterthumsvereines zu Wien, XXIII, 1886, 2–3, 130
  6. Gerhard P. Woeckel, Ein in Wien entstandenes Frühwerk Johann Baptist Straubs: die aus der Schwarzspanierklosterkirche St. Mariä stammende Kanzel in der Pfarrkirche in Laxenburg/NÖ, in: Alte und moderne Kunst, 18/130, 1973, 16–26
  7. Peter Steiner, Johann Baptist Straub (Münchner kunsthistorische Abhandlungen, VI), München und Zürich, Verlag Schnell & Steiner, 1974
  8. Peter Volk, Johann Baptist Straub 1704–1784, München, Hirmer Verlag, 1984
  9. Ingeborg Schemper-Sparholz, Skulptur und dekorative Plastik, in: Barock. Geschichte der Bildenden Kunst in Österreich, 4, Munich/London/New York, Prestel, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1999, 461–478
  10. Matej Klemenčič, Die Bildhauer Straub in der österreichischen und slowenischen Steiermark, in: Bayern und Slowenien im Zeitalter des Barock. Architektur. Skulptur. Malerei. Zweites slowenisch-bayerisches kunstgeschichtliches Kolloquium, Janez Höfler, Frank Büttner (ed.), Regensburg, Schnell & Steiner, 2006, 105–113
  11. University of Vienna, Julia Strobl, Die Wiener Schwarzspanierkirche und ihre barocke Ausstattung, Master’s Thesis, Vienna, 2016
  12. Dehio-Handbuch. Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs. Niederösterreich südlich der Donau, 1, Österreichisches Bundesdenkmalamt (ed.), Horn, Vienna, Berger, 2003

Notes

1 Johann Kasper Lippert, 1772, 54: „[…] Um eben diese Zeit wurde daselbst von dem damaligen Prälaten des Klosters, de Monte Serrato genannt, mit dem neuen Kirchen= und Klosterbau der Anfang gemacht, und Herr Straub im 26. Jahr seines Alters zu der erforderlichen Bildhauerarbeit bestimmet. Er machte auf den Hochaltar eine Madonna in der Größe derjenigen, welche in Spanien zu Monte serrato verehrte wird; ferner die Oratorien; die sehr schöne Kanzel, und andere erhabene Arbeiten und Verzierungen, die in dieser Kirche noch heute zu sehen sind.[...].“

2 Matej Klemenčič, 2006, 108.

3 Peter Steiner, 1974, 29. – Gerhard P. Woeckel, 1973, 22: Woeckel states a wrong completion date, the year 1732, due to misinterpreting a source. Cf. Julia Strobl, 2016, 152-153; Peter Volk, 1984, 8.

4 Parish Archive Laxenburg, Kirchenrechnungen 1785 (bills of the parish church 1785), fol. 18: "Ausgabe auf Handwerksleute und Auszügel./ 15. Erste: ist eine Kanzl erkauft, und laut Beilage sub No. 15. bezalt worden....120,- [fl] / 16. Dem Tischlermeister wegen der Kanzl samt Kirchen Stühlen und Reparatur laut Quit. No. 16. bezahlet 77,15 [fl./xr.] / Dem Tischleraltgesellen vor die Tehr wegen der Kanzel zu machen zalt  –. 30 [xr.] / Dem Vergoldtergesellen Discretion geben 3,- [fl.] / Den Tagwerkern so hiezu erforderlich waren, auf Trünk. geben 1,- [fl] / Den Maurern die 2. Seitenaltäre abzubrechenen, das Gerüst zur Kanzl aufzusetzen, wieder weckzunehmen, und zum Zupflastern Trünckgeld geben 2,30- [fl./xr.] / Deßgleichen denen Tischlergesellen bezalt 1,20 [fl./xr.] / 17. Dem Hrn. [Herrn] Vergolder Gräßl, um die Kanzl zu vergolden ut Quit. No 17. zalt ...300,- [fl.]. – Albert Ilg, 1886, 2–3, 130; Niederösterreichisches Landesarchiv (NÖLA), N.Ö. Reg., Akt C32, Zl. 977, 1785; cf. Julia Strobl, 2016, 122.

5 Ingeborg Schemper-Sparholz, 1999, 465–466.

6 According to Woeckel and Volk the relief is depicting “Jonas at Ninive”, according to Steiner “St. Paul in Lystra”. Gerhard P. Woeckel, 1973, 20; Peter Steiner, 1974, 42; Peter Volk, 1984, 204; Julia Strobl, 2016, 166–167.

7 Erzdiözese Wien, Referat für Kunst und Denkmalpflege, Laxenburg, Pfarre Kreuzerhöhung, Objekt Nr. 9405/17.