Artworks Catalogue

The high altar of the Succursal Church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The sculpture of St Henry (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The sculptures of St Peter and St Francis Xavier (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The sculptures of St John of Nepomuk and St Paul (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The sculpture of St Paul, detail (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The sculpture of angel from the atic (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The top of the altar The sculpture of angel from the atic (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The tabernacle of the high altar (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The inscription on the back side of the altar (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The high altar of the Succursal Church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju, old photograph (source of the photo: Regional Archive Maribor)

Location

Slovenia, Areh na Pohorju

Succursal Church of St Henry (Podružnična cerkev sv. Areha)

Parish Šmartno na Pohorju

Artwork

The high altar of the Succursal Church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju

Type

High altar

Dimensions

Height: 960 cm, width: 530 cm, depth: 130 cm

Inscriptions

  1. Renov...1895...Anton...A. Zoratti...Podkrižnik (signature on the backside of predella)

Critical History

The high altar in the church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju was mentioned for the first time in the visitation record in 1756.1 After early descriptions of the altarpiece,2 it was Sergej Vrišer who attributed the high altar to Joseph Straub.3 He also pointed out that the architecture of the altar represents an exception in Joseph Straub`s opus:4 note, that columns – which are missing here – are the most important feature in the architecture of Joseph Straub`s altars.

There is a niche with the statue of St Henry in the centre of the altar, two pair of statues are set on each side (St Peter and St Francis Xavier on the left, St John of Nepomuk and St Paul on the right) with the canopy and volutes above. The role of the figures is significant.

Construction / Execution

The high altar is made of wood. The altar table is made of stone and it is covered with non original wooden antependium. The altar is completely repolychromed.

The back side of the altar has well finished and smoothen surface because it was meant to be seen during certain procession activities.

Components

Carpentry
Carpentry
Author: Joseph Straub (Wiesensteig 1712 – Maribor 1756)
Technique(s): sawing, wood carving
Material(s): softwood
Sculpture
Sculpture
Author: Joseph Straub (Wiesensteig 1712 – Maribor 1756)
Technique(s): wood carving
Material(s): limewood
Polychromy
Polychromy
Technique(s): oil, water gilding
Material(s): gold leaf, red bole
Polychromy
First repolychromy
Author: Angelo Zoratti (Udine 1839 – Maribor 1913)
Completed: 1895
Technique(s): oil, oil gilding, stencil ornamentation
Material(s): metal leaf, oil
Polychromy
Second repolychromy
Author: Podkrižnik
Technique(s): oil
Material(s): metal leaf, oil

Comment

The wood is infected by wood-boring insects, rot and fungi. There are some losses of the ornamental carving. The angel head on the left side of attic is missing. The ground is lifting and falling off on several parts of polychromy, particularly on gilded parts where the ground is thicker. Especially the ground on the lower part of altarpiece is in a very bad condition because of the great amount of the humidity in the church floor. The first polychromation of the altar architecture was an imitation of marble in blue, orange and brown shades. The drapery of the sculptures, angel wings and ornaments were partly gilded to imitate gold. Some parts of drapery are painted in white and black. Skin parts of sculptures are painted naturalistic. The clouds in the attic were silvered.

The altar was renovated in 1861 by Tomaž Kotnik and Ignacij Holc5 , also in 1895 by Angelo Zoratti6 and later by Podkrižnik (Ins 1). During the last two repolychromies the gilded areas were covered with metal leaves.

Conservation-restoration

Consolidation/facing

Materials: Hydro-Grund, Japanese tissue, Lascaux® Medium for Consolidation

Treatment Description

The lifting ground with polychromy and gilding was localy consolidated with application of acrylic resin over Japan paper.

Images

  1. The high altar of the Succursal Church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  2. The sculpture of St Henry (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  3. The sculptures of St Peter and St Francis Xavier (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  4. The sculptures of St John of Nepomuk and St Paul (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  5. The sculpture of St Paul, detail (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  6. The sculpture of angel from the atic (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  7. The top of the altar The sculpture of angel from the atic (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  8. The tabernacle of the high altar (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  9. The inscription on the back side of the altar (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  10. The high altar of the Succursal Church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju, old photograph (source of the photo: Regional Archive Maribor)

Catalogue entry prepared by Valentina Pavlič and Saša Dolinšek

Recommended citation: Valentina Pavlič and Saša Dolinšek, The high altar of the Succursal Church of St Henry in Areh na Pohorju, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 13/07/2020) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Fran Kovačič, Sv. Areh na Pohorju, in: Časopis za zgodovino in narodopisje, 13, 1917, 45–94
  2. Stele, Zap. LXIX, 1927, 4, URL
  3. Sergej Vrišer, Baročno kiparstvo na slovenskem Štajerskem, Maribor, Obzorja, 1963
  4. Sergej Vrišer, Baročno kiparstvo na slovenskem Štajerskem, Ljubljana, Slovenska matica, 1992

Notes

1 Anton Ožinger 1991, 336: "Eâdem die duodecima iulii visitata fuit ecclesia sancti Henrici, in summo cacumine montis Pachern sita. Est sub advocatia dominü Schleinizensis, non est consecrata, neque ullum altare. Maius est sancti Henrici, alterum sancti Erasmi, tertium sanctae Annae."

2 Fran Kovačič, 1917, 50–61; France Stele, 1927

3 Sergej Vrišer, 1963, 90, 169; Sergej Vrišer, 1992, 124–125, 235

4 Sergej Vrišer, 1963, 90; Sergej Vrišer, 1992, 124–125

5 There was an inscription on the back of the niche, according to Fran Kovačič 1917, 6

6 Fran Kovačič 1917, 7