Artworks Catalogue

Vienna, St Augustine, decoration above the right altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
Vienna, St Augustine, decoration above the left altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
Vienna, St Augustine, putto above the right altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
Vienna, St Augustine, putti with censer above the right altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
Vienna, St Augustine, storage, putto from a side altar of the Schwarzspanierkirche (photo by Julia Strobl, 2014)
Vienna, St Augustine, storage, putto from a side altar of the Schwarzspanierkirche (photo by Julia Strobl, 2014)

Location

Austria, Vienna

Monastery and Parish Church of St Augustine (Augustinerkirche)

Original location:

Austria, Vienna

Benedictine Abbey Church of Our Lady of Monteserrato (Schwarzspanierkirche)

Artwork

Decorations from the Side Altars of the former Schwarzspanierkirche in Vienna

Type

Sculptural decoration

Critical History

According to Lippert, his earliest biographer in 1772, Johann Baptist Straub made the decorations for four side altars of the former abbey church of the Benedictine order of Montserrat for Abbot Anton Vogl von Krallern.1 The paintings on the side altars are signed (Daniel Gran, Martino and Bartolomeo Altomonte) and dated 1736, when Straub had already left Vienna. In 1737 the young architect Johann Jakob Küchel visited the church two years before its consecration and noted that the (already finished) side altars were of a completely new kind without costly architecture.2 Ten years later the painter Paul Troger also noted the "side altars without columns."3 During the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Emperor Joseph II. in 1784, the former Abbey Church of Our Lady of Monteserrato was profaned, and the side altars were dismantled and dispersed. Four huge paintings were brought to Santa Maria della Neve, the former Minorite church in Vienna, after 1784 used by the Congregatione Italiana. The framing decoration carved by Straub was partly reused by court architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, who was responsible for both churches, for the attic above the two side altars at the triumphal arch of St. Augustine.4 After his return to Munich Johann Baptist Straub repeated and developed his Viennese side altars without architecture, eg. in Dießen or St. Michael in Munich, Berg am Laim.

Construction / Execution

The original layout of the altars, with the framed altarpieces fixed directly to the wall, surrounded with asymmetrical drapery, sculptures (putti with attributes) and glorioles with cherubs and clouds in the attic, is not known but probably the side altars of the Schwarzspanierkirche resembled Straub's later alters in Bavaria (Dießen 1738-40, Berg am Laim 1743/44).5 The putto with a cross and another putto with a palm, making a gesture of silence, can be convincingly contexted with Bartolomeo Altomontes painting (The Glory of St. John of Nepomuk, 1736), they must have belonged to the altar of St John of Nepomuk.6

Components

Sculpture
Author: Johann Baptist Straub (Wiesensteig ca. 1704 – Munich 1784)
Completed: ca. 1730 – ca. 1734
Patron(s): Anton Vogl von Krallern, abbot
Technique(s): wood carving
Material(s): wood
Polychromy
Completed: ca. 1730 – ca. 1739
Patron(s): Anton Vogl von Krallern, abbot
Polychromy
First repolychromy
Completed: ca. 1784 – ca. 1785
Material(s): gold, silver

Comment

In 1974, Steiner documented five small angels with attributes in the parish storage, today only two can be found. A comparison with the photos he took in the 1970s proves that the remaining putti have been damaged since his monograph on Straub was published; the putto with the cross lost both his wings and part of his fingers when the cross was sawn off.7

Images

  1. Vienna, St Augustine, decoration above the right altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
  2. Vienna, St Augustine, decoration above the left altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
  3. Vienna, St Augustine, putto above the right altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
  4. Vienna, St Augustine, putti with censer above the right altar at the triumphal arch (photo by Julia Strobl, 2018)
  5. Vienna, St Augustine, storage, putto from a side altar of the Schwarzspanierkirche (photo by Julia Strobl, 2014)
  6. Vienna, St Augustine, storage, putto from a side altar of the Schwarzspanierkirche (photo by Julia Strobl, 2014)

Catalogue entry prepared by Julia Strobl

Recommended citation: Julia Strobl, Decorations from the Side Altars of the former Schwarzspanierkirche in Vienna, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 05/08/2020) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. 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
  2. Stately Archive, Bamberg, Acts of the Court Chamber, Hofkammerakten Rep. B 53, Nr. 311, fol. 241-287, Johann Jakob Küchel, Küchel, Ingeigneur und Lieutenant, dessen Reiß=Beschreibung nacher Wienn und deren orthen. von 30ten octobris 1737 (travel report of the journey to Vienna in 1737 by Johann Jakob Küchel), 1737, 241-287
  3. Diocesan Archive Brixen (Ordinariatsarchiv Brixen), Leopold Peißer, Diarium über die Neuerbauung der hochfürstlichen Domkirchen zu Brixen, vol. 2, 1747-1749
  4. Archive of the Italian Congregation in Vienna, H 68, Mobili della chiesa delli [sic] Spagnoli Neri de S. Mà. a dato p[er] la nova chiesa della Nazione Italiana , 1784
  5. Peter Steiner, Johann Baptist Straub (Münchner kunsthistorische Abhandlungen, VI), München und Zürich, Verlag Schnell & Steiner, 1974
  6. Peter Volk, Johann Baptist Straub 1704–1784, München, Hirmer Verlag, 1984
  7. University of Vienna, Julia Strobl, Die Wiener Schwarzspanierkirche und ihre barocke Ausstattung, Master’s Thesis, Vienna, 2016

Notes

1 Johann Caspar Lippert, 1772, 54–56: „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 [...] die sehr schöne Kanzel, und andere erhabene Arbeiten und Verzierungen, die in dieser Kirche noch heute zu sehen sind."

2 Johann Jakob Küchel, 1737, fol. 251: „Den 16ten Abends habe die Schwarz Spanier Kirche nächst der Weringer gassen betrachtet, welche von innen recht schön ausgeziehret, mit 7 Altären versehen, der Hoh Altar von architectur, die neben Altär ohne architectur von gantz neuer facon, welche arth schön und zirlich und mit wenigen kösten zu bestreiten, […]." - Consecration of the church 6. September 1739, Archive of the Benedictine Monastery Our Lady at the Scots (Schottenarchiv), Scr. 43/11, 1739.

3 Diarium Leopold Peißer, 1747: […] In obberierten Kürchen befindet sich in denen kleineren Capellen eine Gattung von Seiten-Alteren ohne Säulen, […].“ Diarium Peißer, vol. 2, fol. 89r–90r.

4 Tranfer to the Congregazione Italiana by order of empereror Joseph II. July 1784; Hohenberg was responsible for both churches. Archive of the Italien Congregation in Vienna, H 68: "Mobili della chiesa delli [sic] Spagnoli Neri de S. Mà. a dato p[er] la nova chiesa della Nazione Italiana / 16. Juli 1784 / Consignation Deren für die Welsche Nazional Kirche Laut Regierungs Verordnung ddt. 5 July 7̅8̅4. gratis Verabfolgten Stücken: als, [...] 1. Seiten Altar, das bild von Daniel le grane gemahlen p[er] - f 150- / die Rahm und übrige Verzierung . 16-166.- / 3. 1 Detto von Detto gemahlen p - f 150- / Verzierung  16- 166.- / 4. 1 Detto das bild von Bartolome Altemonte gemahlen p[er] - f 150- / Verzierung 16- 166.- / 5. 1 Detto das bild von Martin Altemonte gemahlen p - f 150- / Verzierung 16- 166. Das Vorstehende Stücke aus dem Kirchen Depositorio über nohmen, und gratis erfolget worden seÿen, wird hiemit bescheiniget. Wien den 16. July 7̅8̅4. / Johan Evang. Milani p.t. Praefetto della chiesa."

5 Peter Volk, 1984, 186–187, fig. 35 (Dießen), 199-200, fig. 92 (Munich, Berg am Laim), 204, fig. 62 (Schwarzspanierkirche).

6 Julia Strobl, 2016, 173–177.

7 Peter Steiner, 1976, 35–36, fig. 20.