Artworks Catalogue

The sculptural group of the baptismal font of the parish church in St Ruprecht an der Raab (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, Teresa Losonc, 2005)
God the Father, detail, baptismal font, St Ruprecht an der Raab (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, Teresa Losonc, 2005)

Location

Austria, Styria, Graz

Vicarage, St Ruprecht an der Raab (Pfarrhof)

Original location:

Austria, Styria, St. Ruprecht an der Raab

Parish Church St Rupert (Pfarrkirche Hl Rupert)

Artwork

The sculptural group of the baptismal font of the parish church in St Ruprecht an der Raab

Type

Sculptural group

Dimensions

Height: 90 cm

Critical History

The sculptural decoration of the baptismal font of the parish church St Ruprecht/Raab is kept today in the vicarage, because most of the carved figures had been stolen. Only the sculpture of God the Father sitting enthroned on top of a cloudscape and the dove of the Holy Spirit have been preserved. According to Rochus Kohlbach, the carvings for the baptismal font belonged to one of the most interesting one’s.1 An old photograph shows the boldly vertical arranged composition of St John the Baptist standing on the left side and pouring water over the head of Jesus, who is kneeling right of him with his arms crossed over his chest. Directly above, there is the dove of the Holy Spirit, floating with its wings wide spread. Behind this group a pile of clouds builds up like a high tower; on top there is God the Father, sitting on a sphere and stretching his arms aside. His coat is moved behind his back in a very dynamic way. According to Kohlbach, there also was the sculpture of an angel, draping a dry cloth over Jesus’ left shoulder.2

The sculpture of St John the Baptist is comparable to that on the rosary altar in Birkfeld (1768); both show a suffering facial expression and accurately defined muscles, while their coat covers their hip area and the left shoulder. Remarkable is the crouching position of Jesus; his facial expression is almost lethargic.

Construction / Execution

The sculptures are made of carved wood and worked in three dimensions.

Components

Sculpture
Author: (workshop) Philipp Jakob Straub
Completed: 1738
Technique(s): wood carving
Material(s): wood
Polychromy
Completed: 1738
Material(s): gold leaf, red bole, silver leaf

Comment

A depiction of the original appearance can be found in Rochus Kohlbach’s book “Steirische Bildhauer. Vom Römerstein zum Rokoko, Domverlag Graz, 1957” on page 447. He remarks, that the sculptural group could be designed by Philipp Jakob Straub, while the execution was done by one of his disciples, Ferdinand Schmucker.3

Images

  1. The sculptural group of the baptismal font of the parish church in St Ruprecht an der Raab (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, Teresa Losonc, 2005)
  2. God the Father, detail, baptismal font, St Ruprecht an der Raab (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, Teresa Losonc, 2005)

Catalogue entry prepared by Christina Pichler and Dagmar Probst

Recommended citation: Christina Pichler and Dagmar Probst, The sculptural group of the baptismal font of the parish church in St Ruprecht an der Raab, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 05/08/2020) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Rochus Kohlbach, Steirische Bildhauer. Vom Römerstein zum Rokoko, Graz, Grazer Domverlag, 1956

Notes

1 Rochus Kohlbach, 1957, 447

2 Rochus Kohlbach, 1957, 447

3 Rochus Kohlbach, 1957, 447