Austria Arts: Baroque


On the threshold of the Baroque era, Pietro de Pomis (* 1569, † 1633), who also worked as a painter, created the mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II (1614 ff.) In Graz and the Eggenberg Palace there (1625 ff.). The new building of the Salzburg Cathedral (1614–28) based on plans by S. Solari was trend-setting for the baroque church building in Central Europe in the 17th century.

Up to 1680/90 almost all churches in Austria were built by northern Italian traveling artists (e.g. Sankt Lambrecht, 1639/40 ff., Mariazell, 1644 ff., By Domenico Sciassia [* between 1599 and 1603, † 1679]; Salzburg: Kajetanerkirche, 1685–1700, Sankt Erhard, 1685-89, by G. Zuccalli ). The versatile members of the Carlone family were significantly involved in the construction and furnishing of the richly stuccoed wall pillar churches (including Leoben, former Jesuit church, 1660–65; Schlierbach, 1679/80 ff.; Sankt Florian, 1686–1708). The other baroque churches, palace buildings and palaces for imperial courts and nobility (in Vienna mostly built after the second Turkish siege of 1683) as well as the monumental monastery buildings were exemplary for Central Europe. The stylistic starting point remained the high baroque architecture of Italy. The leading architects were J. B. Fischer von Erlach and JL von Hildebrandt . With the church and monastery buildings in Melk (from 1701) J. Prandtauer created a baroque total work of art of the greatest sustainability.

Other important master builders who determined the regional building activity were M. Steinl and J. Munggenast, in Upper Austria JM Prunner , in Tyrol GA Gumpp and in Styria Joseph Hueber (* 1715, † 1784). The architects N. Pacassi(Schönbrunn, Große Galerie, 1745 / 46–64), Jean Nicolas Jadot (* 1710, † 1761; Aula der Alte Universität, 1753–56) and Isidore, who worked for the Viennese court, oriented themselves towards the stricter French classicism Canevale (* 1730, † 1786;Josephinum, 1784 ff.). The historicizing stylistic pluralism of Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg (* 1732, † 1816; Vienna, Schönbrunn: Gloriette and Roman Ruins, 1775 and 1778, respectively).


As a result of the Counter Reformation at the beginning of the 17th century, according to intershippingrates, there was a return to pre-Reformation art forms (»rebirth of the carved altar«). Noteworthy are, inter alia. the high altars in Stams (1609–13), Mondsee (1626) and Gurk (1626–32). Mainly in Upper Austria were among others. M. Zürn and Michael Zürn the Younger, JM Guggenbichler , T. Schwanthaler and his relatives active in Styria, among others. Josef Schokotnigg (* 1700, † 1755) and Veit Königer (* 1729, † 1792), in Admont JT Stammel , in Heiligenkreuz G. Giuliani . P. Strudel produced in Vienna the statues of the emperors, which were erected in the state room of the court library in 1731. His brother Peter founded an art academy in Vienna in 1692. GR Donner , who tended towards classical styles, is of particular importance. B. Moll and FX Messerschmidt , the latter known for his character heads, are other main masters of late Baroque Viennese sculpture.

The Viennese porcelain factory was founded in 1718. Up to the present day, the character of Austrian cities and towns is largely determined by baroque open-air sculptures (Trinity columns, statues of saints) and fountains.


The brisk building activity of the baroque (especially the baroqueization of older churches) offered sculptors, plasterers, cabinet makers and v. a. Painters a plethora of tasks. In addition to the large ceiling paintings, in which the glorification (glory) of a religious or mythological idea appears as the main motif, the artists v. a. Altarpieces. In wall painting, Arsenio Mascagni (* around 1570, † 1637; Salzburg, Dom, 1623–28) and Hans Adam Weissenkircher (* 1646, † 1695; Graz, Eggenberg Palace, 1678–85) created paintings for stucco-framed vaulted fields. As a result, large-format ceiling frescoes, often framed by illusionistic architectural painting, dominate (e.g. in Sankt Florian, 1690–96, by JM Gumpp and M. Steidl ; Vienna, University Church, 1703, by A. Pozzo ). The frescoes by JM Rottmayr and D. Gran , as well as the large ceiling paintings by P. Troger for the newly erected monastery buildings in Altenburg, Melk, Seitenstetten, Göttweig and B. Altomontes frescoes in Sankt Florian, Spital am Pyhrn, Wilhering,are particularly remarkable and defining the space. Herzogenburg, Admont. Anton Zoller (* 1695, † 1768), Josef Adam Mölk (* 1714, † 1794) and M. Knoller worked in Tyrol. With F. A. Maulbertsch (Vienna, Piarist Church, 1752–53; Halthurn Palace, 1765; Innsbruck, Hofburg, 1775–76) late Baroque painting reached a virtuoso climax. M. J. Schmidt’s altarpieces (»Kremser Schmidt«) were also widely used beyond Austria. In the exotic, illusionistic wall paintings by Johann Bergl (* 1718, † 1789; Melk, garden pavilion, 1763–64; Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace, around 1770), a new feeling for nature manifests itself. The genre (Franz Christoph Janneck, * 1703, † 1761; J. G. Platzer), portrait (Jan Kupezky, * 1667, † 1740; M. van Meytens; C. Seybold) and landscape (Anton Faistenberger, * 1663, † 1708; Josef Faistenberger, * 1675, † 1724). Johann Christian Brand (* 1722, † 1795) founded an independent variant of Austrian landscape painting with his vedute overlaid with atmospheric effects.

Austria Arts Baroque

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