Friday, November 21, 2014
Though thee baroque monastery church, Barmherzigenkirche (Brotherhood of Compassion), in Graz, Austria, was founded by the Archduke Ferdinand and Max Ernst in 1615, the present construction was from later period - built in 1735-40, was by J. G. Stengg and it presented visitors stark contrasts between its austere though flowing architectural elements and the overstuffed, overwrought religious paintings, sculptures and altars.
For the latter, it was their almost naïve sincerity and the heart-felt solemnity rescued them from the disaster of complete kitsch and drew viewers' attention to elaborate splendor.
Amongst those unusual objects, I found a huge altar centering on an ebony Madonna very intriguing and most memorable. Underneath a seashell arch, enshrouded in beautifully decorated cloth of ceremony, which was covered with alternating dark and light patterns, this Madonna, shaped like a typical Christmas tree, embodied the universal elements, manifested by the bold motifs on the ceremonial cloth. A tiny arm of hers held high the small head of the Baby, which, like his celestial mother, wore weighty crowns gilded in rich though subdued red gold.
I really love the primitive feeling of this particular Virgin Mary.
The second memorable piece in Barmherzigenkirche depicted a typical sacrificial scene of a certain saint. It was a fresco on a side wall near an alter of the theme of the Lamentation. What struck me most of this side fresco was the beauty of the subtle coloration, and the elegance of the postures, therefore, the rather terrifying scene was beautifully presented and such dichotomy generated a high drama of its own. Furthermore, one could see that a sculptural lamenting cherub from the altar cast his sight on this painted scene, thus bound those two elements tightly together, forming a continuous narration from altar to the side wall and then back.
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 97: My Favorite Reliefs in Franziskanerkirche, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 95: My Favorite Sculptures at Schloßberg, Graz
List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited
Other Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst:
- Boy With Frog Sculpture and Punta della Dogana, Venice
- My Favorite Sculpture and Painting at Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
- My Favorite Sculptures at Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Firenze, Italia
- My Favorite Sculptures in les Jardins du Ranelag, Paris