Artworks Catalogue

Ferdinand Weizinger, The high altar in the Church of St Joseph in Studenci, around 1899 (Source: Zasebna domoznanska zbirka Primoža Premzla, Maribor)
The statues from the high altar in Studenci in the  Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of St Anne, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of St Joachim, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of St Zacharias, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of Elisabeth, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of God the Father with angels from the high altar in Studenci in the Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of Love, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The statue of an angel with sheaves of corn, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The rear of the statue of St Anne, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
The painting of St Joseph, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)

Location

Slovenia, Maribor

Regional Museum Maribor (Pokrajinski muzej Maribor)

Original location:

Slovenia, Maribor

Parish Church of St Joseph in Studenci (Župnijska cerkev sv. Jožefa na Studencih)

Artwork

Sculptural Decoration of the High Altar from the Church of St Joseph in Studenci

Type

High altar

Dimensions

Height: 230 cm, width: 130 cm, depth: 78 cm

Critical History

The high altar from the Church of St Joseph in Studenci was mentioned for the first time in the visitation record in 1756.1 The sculptural decoration of the high altar from the Church of St Joseph in Studenci is a documented work by Joseph Straub.2 The first archival sources were published by Sergej Vrišer in 1957.3 According to two invoices, Straub was paid 200 fl. in 1750, and 600 fl. in 1752.4 Other invoices reveal the names of the carpenter Franz Leeb, who was paid 400 fl. in 1752,5 and the painter Franz Beinlich, who received 930 fl. for the polychromy of the altarpiece in 1756.6

The altar was removed from the church in 1899 because of the general negative perception of Baroque art in that period as we can also read in the chronicle of the parish.7 On the other hand, the Imperial-Royal Central Commission for the research and preservation of artistic and historical monuments in Graz tried to save the altar.8 Most of the statues were transferred to the Diocesan Lavantine Museum. In 1914 the four main sculptures from the altar and the painting of St Joseph in a rich frame were named in a list of the most important and precious items in the collection of the Diocesan Lavantine Museum, but their authorship was unknown at that time.9 Later the collection became part of the Regional Museum Maribor.10

A preserved photograph allows us to determine the original appearance of the altar before it was dismantled.11 We can see that the altar had a massive architecture with concave niches. In the lower part there were columns and four (more than life size) sculptures set between them. These four sculptures represent two pairs of parents: St Anne and St Joachim (Mary’s parents) and St Elisabeth and St Zacharias (St John the Baptist’s parents). In the upper part of the altar there was a sculpture of God the Father with the globe and several angel figures around him. At the top of the altar there were three sculptures: personifications of virtues – Love, Faith and Hope. All the above figures are on display in the Regional Museum Maribor, as well as some sculptures of angels and also the altar`s painting: the painting of St Joseph and the Child in a frame with rose and shell ornamentation, which was removed in 1897 and replaced with a statue of the saint, made by Janez Vurnik Jr (1849 – 1911) from Radovljica.12

The sculptures are considered the most important work of Joseph Straub. They are of high quality, their gestures are clear and the drapery is especially rich. Also the big almond shaped eyes, female faces with round chins, curly hair and big hands are significantly characteristic. The sculptures were used as a reference for several later attributions to Joseph Straub.

Construction / Execution

The posterior sides of the statues of Hope, Faith, Love and cherub are hollowed out with a rough tool, and the surface there was not smoothed.

The limewood is in a good state. There are some cracks in the wood, especially on the wood joints.

Components

Carpentry
Carpentry
Author: Franz Leeb
Completed: 1750 –
Technique(s): sawing, wood carving
Material(s): wood
Sculpture
Sculpture
Author: Joseph Straub (Wiesensteig 1712 – Maribor 1756)
Completed: 1750 –
Technique(s): wood carving
Material(s): limewood
Polychromy
Polychromy
Author: Franz Beinlich
Completed: 1756 –
Technique(s): oil, water gilding
Material(s): calcium carbonate, carbon black, drying oil, gold leaf, lead white, natural resin, protein, red bole, vermillion
Polychromy
First repolychromy
Technique(s): oil, water gilding
Material(s): barium sulphate, black iron oxide, carbon black, gold leaf, lead red, lead white, oil, red bole
Polychromy
Second repolychromy
Author: Anton Blatnik
Completed: 1968 –
Technique(s): oil, water gilding
Material(s): barium sulphate, calcium carbonate, carbon black, gold leaf, lime, red bole, red iron oxide, sienna, titan white, vermillion, zink white

Comment

Between 1961 and 1972 Anton Blatnik restored the sculptures and also carved some missing parts (angel wings, fingers on feet and hands). Since 2015 Saša Dolinšek from the Restoration Centre of Slovenia has been restoring the sculptures.13

Conservation-restoration

1972

Treatment Description

Because of the limited options of materials at that time, the restorer could not find the original coat under the first repolychromy. After the addition of the missing parts of sculptures, they made a second repolychromy.

2015 – 2018

Treatment Description

Since 2015, Joseph Straub’s sculptures in the Regional Museum Maribor have been included in the regular annual working programme. As of early 2018, conservation restoration works were completed on the following statues: Faith, Hope and Love, two puttis, two putto heads, a cherub.

Images

  1. Ferdinand Weizinger, The high altar in the Church of St Joseph in Studenci, around 1899 (Source: Zasebna domoznanska zbirka Primoža Premzla, Maribor)
  2. The statues from the high altar in Studenci in the Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  3. The statue of St Anne, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  4. The statue of St Joachim, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  5. The statue of St Zacharias, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  6. The statue of Elisabeth, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  7. The statue of God the Father with angels from the high altar in Studenci in the Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  8. The statue of Love, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  9. The statue of an angel with sheaves of corn, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  10. The rear of the statue of St Anne, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)
  11. The painting of St Joseph, Regional Museum Maribor (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, photo by Valentin Benedik, 2018)

Catalogue entry prepared by Valentina Pavlič and Saša Dolinšek

Recommended citation: Valentina Pavlič and Saša Dolinšek, Sculptural Decoration of the High Altar from the Church of St Joseph in Studenci, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 13/07/2020) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Avguštin Stegenšek, Lavantinski škofijski muzej, in: Ljubitelj krščanske umetnosti, Maribor, Spomeniški svet lavantinske škofije, 1914, 254–264
  2. Sergej Vrišer, Mariborski baročni kiparji, in: Zbornik za umetnostno zgodovino, n. v. IV, 1957, 71–127
  3. Sergej Vrišer, Baročno kiparstvo na slovenskem Štajerskem, Maribor, Obzorja, 1963
  4. Sergej Vrišer, Baročno kiparstvo (Ars Sloveniae), Ljubljana, 1967
  5. France Stele, Baroque, classicisme et XIXe siècle, in: L'art en Yougoslavie de la préhistoire à nos jours (exhibition catalogue), Paris, Les Presses Artistiques, 1971, s. p.
  6. Anton Ožinger, Vizitacijski zapisniki savinjskega arhidiakonata goriške nadškofije 1751–1773 = Atti delle visite pastorali nell‘arcidiaconato di valle Saunia della arcidiocesi di Gorizia 1751–1773 = Die Berichte der Pastoralvisitationen im Archidiakonat Saunien der Erzdiözese Görz 1751–1773, Ljubljana, Arhiv Republike Slovenije; Inštitut za zgodovino Cerkve Teološke fakultete ; Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete, 1991
  7. Sergej Vrišer, Baročno kiparstvo na slovenskem Štajerskem, Ljubljana, Slovenska matica, 1992
  8. Sergej Vrišer, Cerkev svetega Jožefa na Studencih v Mariboru, Maribor, Župnijski urad sv. Jožefa, 1999
  9. Valentina Bevc Varl, Kiparska dela Leonharda Kerna in Jožefa Strauba v Pokrajinskem muzeju Maribor, in: Oltar Leonharda Kerna. 400 let kasneje / The altar of Leonhard Kern. 400 years later (exhibition catalogue), Valentina Bevc Varl, Luka Bogovčič (ed.), Maribor, Pokrajinski muzej, 2013, 3–18

Notes

1 Anton Ožinger, 1991, 308: »Ecclesia sancti Josephi. Eâdem die visitata fuit ecclesia sancti Josephi prope Marburgum, quae nondum est consecrata, sed ob amplitudinem et pulchritudinem oficii consecrari meretur. Arae sunt tres, maior sancti Josephi, cui annexae sunt indulgentiae plenariae pro festo huius sancti, uti et confraternitas sub eodem titulo vi bullarum ibidem exstantium.«

2 Sergej Vrišer, 1957, 88; Sergej Vrišer, 1963, 86–89; Sergej Vrišer, 1967, XIX, cat. 55–56; France Stele, 1971, cat. 519; Sergej Vrišer, 1992, 121–123, 235; Sergej Vrišer, 1999, 14–17; Valentina Bevc Varl, 2013, 15–18.

3 Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1750: “dan Herrn Straub Bilthauer vermög accord des gemachten hochaltars zu St Joseph vor einen leikauf mit assach 1 Star”; Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1750: »No: 3 ¼ den H. Bilthauer Straub vermög Kontract gebe a Konto wegen den hochaltar zu St Joseph 200 fl.«; Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1752: »denn Herrn Joseph Straub Bildthauer alda, bezalle vermög quittung no. 5 600 fl.”

4 Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1750: “dan Herrn Straub Bilthauer vermög accord des gemachten hochaltars zu St Joseph vor einen leikauf mit assach 1 Star”; Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1750: »No: 3 ¼ den H. Bilthauer Straub vermög Kontract gebe a Konto wegen den hochaltar zu St Joseph 200 fl.«; Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1752: »denn Herrn Joseph Straub Bildthauer alda, bezalle vermög quittung no. 5 600 fl.”

5 Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1752: “No. 6 Ingleichen H. Leev tischler Maistern alda, ut quitting No. 6 400 fl.”

6 Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47, Inspections Raittung 1756: “No. 4 Leuth quitung No. 4 bezalle Hr Frantz Beintlich Maller vor fasstung dest hochaltar undt orgl lauth gemachten Contract per 930 fl.« There is also a receipt from 26th January 1757 saved (Archiepiscopal Archives of Maribor, Župnija Hoče, 47)

7 Vinko Krivec, p. Marko Fišer, Kronika cerkve sv. Jožefa na Studencih pri Mariboru.

8 Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, AS 1100, Štajerska kraji, 27.

9 Avguštin Stegenšek, 1914, 257, 262.

10 Sergej Vrišer, 1957, 88; Sergej Vrišer, 1999, 16–17.

11 Sergej Vrišer wrote that the photograph is from around 1899 and it is by Ferdinand Weitznger. Vrišer 1999, 14.

11 In the centre of the altar, there was an oil painting, which was removed in 1897 and replaced with the statue of St Joseph, made by Janez Vurnik Jr. (1849–1911) from Radovljica.

12 Sergej Vrišer, 1999, 16.

13 They are included in the annual regular working programme. Until 2018, all of the sculptures have been restored, except for the main four saint sculptures.