Austria, Styria, Graz
Façade of the Mariahilferstraße 11 building (Fassade des Gebäudes Mariahilferstraße 11)
The sculptural group of the Holy Family on the façade of Mariahilferstraße 11, Graz
The façade was created between 1760 and 1770 by Joseph Hueber.1 During this period, Philipp Jakob Straub made the sculptural group of the Holy Family, that crowns the portal of the building, which ia thus attributable to his late period. Horst Schweigert pointed out that the group is still of the high technical quality and artistic meaningfulness typical of the artist’s other sandstone statues of that period – in contrast to the carvings, which already show Neoclassical tendencies.2
The cloudscape, on which the Holy Family rests, shows the characteristic forms that are so typical of Straub’s oeuvre.
Construction / Execution
The sculptural group is made of carved sandstone.
- Author: Philipp Jakob Straub (Wiesensteig 1706 – Graz 1774)
- Completed: 1760 – 1770
- Technique(s): stone carving
- Material(s): sandstone
The sculptural group's iconography is remarkable because of the affectionate gesture that St Joseph shows towards the Baby Jesus. He lifts the Child’s hand to his mouth to kiss it, which establishes an intense connection between them (three-hand-composition of mother, father and child). This kind of representation is not very common, therefore Straub’s work is of particular importance in this regard. It is comparable to his sculpture of the Madonna and Child on the façade of the Mariahilf Church, which is characterised by warm love and maternal naturalness.
Strategy: removing dirt
The sculptural group shows a good conservation status, but a gentle surface-cleaning would be necessary.
- The sculptural group of the Holy Family on the façade of Mariahilferstraße 11, Graz (photo by Christina Pichler, 2018)
- The sculptural group of the Holy Family, detail, Mariahilferstraße 11, Graz (photo by Christina Pichler, 2018)
- St Joseph and Baby Jesus, detail, Mariahilferstraße 11, Graz (photo by Christina Pichler, 2018)
- Two putto-heads on the right side, detail, Mariahilferstraße 11, Graz (photo by Christina Pichler, 2018)
Catalogue entry prepared by Christina Pichler and Margit Stadlober
Recommended citation: Christina Pichler and Margit Stadlober, The sculptural group of the Holy Family on the façade of Mariahilferstraße 11, Graz, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 26/02/2020) URL