Austria Medieval Arts
The territory of the current Austria, corresponding in Roman times to the regions of Noricum, part of Rezia and Pannonia, was occupied by Germanic and Slavic populations between the end of the 5th and the 6th century. The progress of the Bavarian colonization in the course of the century. 8 ° and the slow movement of the frontier towards the E can also be seen in the foundation, by Duke Tassilone III, of various monasteries, the first of which was Kremsmünster (777). The political organization of the territory occurred in the Carolingian age, when it became the eastern brand of the empire (Ostarrichi: ‘eastern country’), bulwark against Avars, Hungarians and Slavs, constituted by the territories of the Austria Lower and Upper, to which Styria was added after its elevation to a duchy in 1156. lords of the region from the second half of the century. 10 °, arrived in the century. 12th to a dynastically relevant position, with the title of margraves and dukes, becoming related to the Hohenstaufen. Leopold III the Saint, candidate for king of Germany and on good terms with the reforming papacy, founded Klosterneuburg (near Vienna) in 1106, where, at the beginning of the century. 12th, the Babenbergs moved their residence from Melk, before finally fixing it, around the middle of the century, in Vienna. After the extinction of the Babenberg family in 1246 and after the settlement, in the created power vacuum, of Přemysl Ottokar II of Bohemia, the count of Habsburg, elected king of Germany in 1273 with the name of Rudolf I, gave as a fief to their children the Austrian territories, thus creating a center of power in the south-east of the empire, where Vienna slowly took on the role of a residential city, albeit a peripheral one. 11 ° the Kuenring reached a temporary position of dominion in the northern region of the Austria Inferior. From the end of the century. 12 ° several new cities were founded.The ecclesiastical organization was in the hands of the Bavarian bishop of Passau (Vienna became a bishopric only in 1469) and above all of the archbishop of Salzburg who, with great representatives, began around 800 to carry out a important political role and in whose jurisdiction the entire western and southern area of the current Austria fell, with the regions of Salzburg (v.), Carinthia (v.), Styria (v.) and Tyrol (v.) and the bishops of Seckau (v.), Lavant and Gurk (v.). With its Carolingian and Romanesque cathedral, the monasteries of St. Peter and Nonnberg and the related scriptoria, the city of Salzburg became an artistic center able to exert its influence on the Austrian territories, even if it did not belong to them. Under the Habsburgs (v.) The original territories were annexed, thanks to dynastic politics, Tyrol, Carinthia and Carniola, territories that are now partly outside the borders of the state. Even the most important bishops and, consequently, the major artistic centers of these territories (Aquileia and Bressanone) today are no longer in Austria. Among the Habsburg rulers emerged as patrons of the arts: Duke Rudolph IV (1358-1365), who rivaled his father-in-law Charles IV in Vienna and his residential city, Prague; King Albert II (as duke, Albert V, 1411-1439); Emperor Frederick III (as duke, Frederick V, 1440-1493). The cultural structure of the territory, however, remained largely determined by the great monasteries of the Benedictines (Kremsmünster, v .; Admont, v.; Melk, v.; St. Florian), of the Cistercians, called by the princes (Heiligenkreuz, v.; Lilienfeld, v.; Zwettl, v.; Neuberg sulla Mürz, v.; Stams, v.) and of the Carthusians (Mauerbach, v.; Gaming, v.), as well as the communities of Canons (Klosterneuburg, v.; Rein). Among the cities, the road junctions of Linz, Wels, Enns (v.), Krems (v.), Leoben, Villach and the mining towns of Hall (v.), Schwaz (v.) And Steyr acquired a certain importance. Alongside and together with Salzburg, southern Tyrol became a channel for the penetration of Italian art and a profane art of considerable importance also developed in its castles. Of the current federal regions, Vorarlberg (v.), With the Austria anterior Alemannic (Breisgau, Alsace), it belonged to the territories of Habsburg origin, but not to the Austrian historical unit, while Burgenland (see) was historically part of Hungary. For Austria 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.
After the Age of Migration (on which there are always new testimonies thanks to organic excavation campaigns) the country was subjected politically to various influences and also from the artistic point of view it substantially depended on the outside.Salzburg, a powerful center of ecclesiastical power, he left for example, especially in the Austria Superiore, important evidence of its influence, as is evident in the frescoes of the ancient western tribune of the Lambach abbey church (v.), After 1080. In the field of miniature, the dependence on Salzburg is even more evident during the course of the century. 12 °, especially in the production of the abbey of St. Florian while the effects of this cultural supremacy are also visible in the Austria Inferior. In. Western superior was in particular the seminary of the cathedral of Salzburg that constantly exerted a notable influence, during the century. 12 °, thanks to the organization of the ecclesiastical congregation (see the convent of the Canons of Ranshofen on the Inn). 11 °, the monastic foundations in the eastern area of the margraviate of. they became increasingly active centers of artistic production adapting, when it came to new foundations belonging to a monastic congregation (as in the case of Göttweig for the reform of Hirsau), to the orientation of the mother abbey. Among the most important we can remember first of all Melk, which was also the first residence of the Margrave, Göttweig, Seitenstetten and Klosterneuburg, which became the residence of the Babenbergs with Margrave Leopold III. The same applies to the abbeys of the Cistercian Order, supported first by Margrave Leopold III – his son Otto, one of the most important historians of his time, before becoming bishop of Freising he was part of the Order – and then by Duke Leopold VI. (Heiligenkreuz was founded in 1133, from which the subsidiaries of Zwettl in 1138 and Lilienfeld in 1206 originated). A flourishing artistic activity thus emerged, determined by very diversified premises. Only hypotheses are possible on the influence exercised by the Babenbergs on art during their domination. The artistic testimonies of the period are in fact very incomplete both for architecture and painting and for sculpture and sumptuary arts. And in particular, of the works produced directly for the Babenberg court, nothing remains, except perhaps for a portable altar kept in the Melk monastery and an Islamic ivory box – the necessary to write about Margrave Leopold III – in the monastery of Klosterneuburg. However, it must be assumed that an artistic activity developed within the monasteries. We have evidence of this above all in Klosterneuburg (v.): The seven-branched bronze candlestick (made in Verona at the beginning of the 12th century) and the enamel work by Nicola di Verdun, completed in 1181 and mounted in 1331 on an altar with doors, they show that the monastery must have been equipped with important furnishings. Obviously, since the town does not have workers capable of carrying out important works, they were commissioned to foreign artists. In the field of sculpture, nothing remains with certainty pertaining to the century. 11 °; a relief on wood representing the Crucifixion (Linz, Oberösterreichisches Landesmus.) is sometimes dated to the third quarter of the century. 11th but is probably from the mid 12th century. However, it must be assumed that the monasteries of Lambach, St. Florian, Göttweig, Melk and Klosterneuburg had images for worship since their foundation. The oldest reliefs of certain date are preserved in the parish church of Gobelsburg (A. Inferiore, second quarter of the 12th century); they belonged to a larger cycle that cannot be reconstructed and whose original location within the church is unknown. From a stylistic point of view these are works linked by affinity to contemporary German sculptures, while the oldest crucifix preserved in Austria (Vienna, chapel of the court of Melk, 1200 ca.) can be placed in relation with the great crucifix of the cathedral of Cividale. Towards the end of the century 12 ° the architectural culture of western and southern Europe also asserted itself. The portals of churches decorated with sculptures are quite numerous in Austria, almost all of them contemporary. Of all the oldest is the western portal of the parish church of Tulln; the tympanum of the ossuary in Mödling, that of Mistelbach and that of the round church of Petronell are also worthy of mention. The surviving part of the Scottish church in Vienna shows that the portal instead followed a typology typical of northern Italy. Of particular importance in the context of the duchy is the western portal of the church of St. Stephan in Vienna, the Riesentor, dating back to around 1240, a masterpiece of a whole group of portals (the so-called bride in the cathedral of Wiener Neustadt, that of the ossuary of Mödling and the lateral portal of Kleinmariazell) made by workers from Hungary, whose most significant work is the church of Jak (committee of Vas). The decoration of the small church of Schöngraber (v.), In Austria Inferiore, datable to around 1250-1260, appears to be an isolated case especially as regards the exterior of the apse, and its origin has not yet been clarified. ; the comparison often proposed with the facade of the Scottish church in Regensburg does not offer a satisfactory solution. It is not possible to explain this succession of styles in Austria as a random phenomenon, or at least it is not possible to limit oneself to this explanation (the activity of the Hungarian workers in the Margraviate, for example, cannot be justified by the fact that Hungary was pressure from other populations from the East); rather, it must be seen as the result of a precise political will. This can be understood in the light of parallel phenomena, especially in the architectural field, even if from the earliest times of Christianity in the territories that later formed the duchy of. masonry churches had been built (eg in Lauriacum, od. Lorch) of which only the foundations remained, those which later became established were mainly the simpler and cheaper wooden buildings. This material was used until the century. 12 ° for the humblest construction, houses and churches, of which however no trace remains. Only the noble foundations, both secular and ecclesiastical, were distinguished, made, in both cases, in stone with monumental dimensions; even of them, however, there are only a few examples left because of the restorations or the reconstructions in later times. Upper is the Martinskirche of Linz, at least partially preserved: the building, the only one left of the Carolingian brand, was originally a rather imposing construction, with a central plan with cross arms – a fairly common type for the chapels of castles – reduced later in size and transformed into a building with a single nave. Between 976 and 979, shortly after the reorganization of the eastern brand in the Ottonian period, the bishop of Regensburg, s. Volfango founded in Wieselburg, thanks to a royal donation, a building with a central plan which is still preserved today. There are also some parts of the church of the Lambach monastery (founded in 1056), consecrated in 1089 by the bishop of Passau, Altmann, the same who, between 1075 and 1080, had founded the abbey of Göttweig. The Westwerk of Lambach, with its important frescoes in the area of the tribune, between the two towers, testifies to the importance that the building must have had. with three naves without transept and ‘hall’ elevation. The ancient church of the Canons of s. Agostino in Sankt Pölten, the current cathedral, before its reconstruction took place in the century. 13 °, had a structure of this kind, as well as the parish church of Tulln, residence of the representative of the bishop of Passau, in the Austrian brand. The typology of the abbey of Klosterneuburg, built between 1114 and 1136, clearly differentiated. with a transept, from the beginning the church was probably vaulted and provided with women’s galleries; therefore followed a typology typical of northern Italy, which, in the place of residence of the prince, must have clearly had a programmatic character. one of the most impressive buildings of the century. 12th in Austria. The church, a basilica with three naves with pillars and ribbed cross vaults, was probably built by those same workers of the Order to whom we also owe the church of Santa Cruz near Tarragona, Spain; this singular phenomenon can be explained by the centralized character of the organization of the Order. The churches of the subsidiaries of Zwettl and Lilienfeld are in Austria the oldest preserved buildings, built according to the Burgundian Gothic model. The most significant construction of the early Gothic period is the Speciosa Chapel of Leopoldo VI in Klosterneuburg from around 1220, of which some parts have been preserved in the Franzensburg, in the park of the castle of Laxenburg; designed as a court chapel, it clearly shows the duke’s will to refer to French models. The example of Bamberg contributed on the one hand to the spread of this new architecture, to which the buildings built at the time of Frederick II, the last of the Babenbergs, however, and that of a series of buildings in Hungary on the other. western. The most significant testimonies of this period in Vienna are the third building of St. Stephan (the facade of which is preserved) and the church of St. Michael. construction of the cathedral of Wiener Neustadt (v.) and fortification works of some cities, partially preserved (Hainburg), whose construction was partly made possible by the money paid for the ransom of the King of England Richard the Lionheart, taken prisoner by Leopoldo V on his return from the third crusade. There are also numerous ossuaries, especially from the century. 13 °: these are buildings with a central plan, with two floors, in which the lower floor was used for double burials, an architectural peculiarity of the Alpine regions of the Austria (Tulln, Mödling, Mistebach, Pulkau) Overall, the Austria in the sec. 13th shows to have reached a notable development in the artistic field, in particular by the monasteries, active above all in the field of miniature (among others we should remember first of all St. Florian, Melk, Klosterneuburg), but also of foundations located in the cities: a significant example of this artistic activity is the large fresco with the Coronation of the Virgin commissioned around 1280 by Gozzo, judge of Krems, and by his wife for the Dominican church in their city. This work constitutes the most important testimony of the so-called Zackenstil, of which there is a significant example also in the frescoes of the western tribune of the cathedral of Gurk, in Carinthia (ca. 1260-1270). In addition to the Krems fresco, the Mauthausen ossuary and the Michelstetten parish church can be mentioned, although not as well preserved, as well as the stained glass windows representing the Babenbergs in the Heiligenkreuz cloister. 13 ° the cities acquired, also in Austria, increasing importance, from both an economic and social point of view, and had a decisive role, in addition to the commissioning of the ruling families (the Babenbergs until 1246, therefore for a short period Přemysl Ottocaro II of Bohemia and, from 1276, with the victory of Rudolph I in Marchenfeld, the Habsburgs) and the nobility, the patronage of the bourgeoisie, especially as regards the representative houses, as in the case of the palace that Gozzo had erected for himself in Krems in about 1275. Another important factor for the artistic development of the Austria in this period was the presence of the mendicant Orders, expanding throughout Europe. It remains to be established to what extent the activity that took place in Austria around 1300 is in relation with the Habsburgs, who in 1282 had obtained their dominion. King Rudolf I, two years after his decisive victory over Přemysl Ottokar II of Bohemia, had already built an abbey in Tulln in which he had an extraordinary monument built for himself and his family: leaning against the four pillars of the high altar were the statues of the king, his son and their respective wives. Stylistically, these figures – who clearly also had political significance – resembled those of the donors in the Naumburg cathedral choir. Unfortunately, the church was demolished in 1786, so that it is possible to get an idea of the statues of Rudolph and his family only through the illustrations and descriptions of the Monumenta by Marquand Herrgott, while the artistic initiatives favored by the Habsburgs show a link with architecture German Swabian (and this also applies to sculpture, as is evident in the reliefs of the ancient Dominican church in Tulln), under the pressure of the Mendicant Orders the mature Gothic was established, introduced in Austria from Burgundy by the Cistercians: the Heiligenkreuz choir, consecrated in 1295, constituted a milestone. 14 ° the Habsburgs distinguished themselves for the realization of important works, among which the church of the Augustinians, that of the Friars Minor and the choir and nave of the cathedral are preserved in Vienna (see). The sculptures of the portal of the church of the Friars Minor are the best testimony of a court art in close relationship with France, whose most significant work must have been the funeral monument of Bianca di Valois, consort of Duke Rudolf III (eldest son of King Albert), once in the church of the Friars Minor; of it, unfortunately destroyed, it is possible to have an idea only thanks to reproductions. The Enthroned Madonna of Klosterneuburg (Stiftsmus.) is perhaps the work of the same master of the monument of Bianca di Valois and of the same workshop is a standing Madonna preserved in Vienna (Öst. Gal. im Belvedere). This renewed activity (see for example the Madonna in the Salesian convent in Vienna) is related to the art of western Germany, which then began to spread in Austria thanks to the artists called in from the Upper Rhine region. This is clear above all in the field of goldsmithing: the artists who made the completion panels of the enamel work by Nicholas of Verdun were in fact Rhenish, transforming it into an altar with doors (1331). Central European art of the century. 14th: Regensburg had in fact not only achieved supremacy in Bavaria, surpassing Salzburg in importance, but it had also extended its sphere of influence beyond this region; this can be found in particular in the miniature, but also in the oldest sculptures of the cathedral of Vienna (women’s choir). This courtly tendency appears renewed around 1360, in Vienna, in the statues for the church of Maria am Gestade, made by the workshop of the Frati Minori church, and even more so in the sculptures of the cathedral, coming from the ducal workshop of Rudolph IV (today in part in the Historisches Mus. of Vienna). The desire of the ambitious duke to rival the works created in Prague by his father-in-law, Emperor Charles IV, should not be overlooked, too. if a direct reference to France is possible for the sculptures, where the typology of the portals is also found, adorned with the figures of the founders (portals of the Bishops and the Cantors). Important examples are the Madonna of the pilgrimage church of Sonntagsberg, near Seitenstetten (now in Vienna, Öst. Gal. im Belvedere) and the two figures of the southern choir of St. Michael in Vienna. painting of this period appears closely linked to the Bohemian one, in turn in direct relation with the painting of northern Italy; among the preserved examples, in addition to illuminated works, first of all the stained glass windows of the cathedral of Vienna (1380), while, among the works on wood, of particular importance is the portrait of Duke Rudolf IV (Vienna, Domund Diözesanmus.). It is the oldest individual portrait of German painting, probably in connection with the duke’s efforts to place himself and his family in a prominent position with respect to the other princes of the empire; the painting can therefore be understood rather in the context of Rodolfo’s diplomatic efforts aimed at obtaining the title of archduke (efforts however frustrated by the emperor, given that the title was recognized to the Habsburgs only in 1456), than as an attempt to fix individual traits of the character represented. In any case the work, however it is interpreted, makes an important contribution to the birth of the portrait as a genre in itself. Austria only indirectly (through Bohemia, where Italian painters were active, and perhaps goldsmiths, called by Charles IV), with the exception of occasional itinerant artists, as in the chapel of Ulmerfeld Castle, near Amstetten. The effects of this influence were stronger and more lasting in the case in which, as in the doors of the altar of Nicholas of Verdun in Klosterneuburg, the Italian components appear to be united with the Western ones. The four panels constitute one of the most important achievements of German painting of the first half of the century. 14 ° and represent the starting point for an autonomous pictorial school. Also connected to this pictorial current is the antependium of Königsfelden near Baden in Aargau, currently preserved in Bern (Bernisches Historisches Mus.), work of particular significance in the field of embroidery. Klosterneuburg itself was an important center of painting, whose major testimonies are also illuminated works. However, the artistic activity was now concentrated in Vienna: the rich and ambitious city offered many possibilities and the court of the Habsburgs constituted a point of attraction, thus assuming the functions of a center for the diffusion of the international style as already Salzburg and Styria. works of this period, in many churches of the Austria Inferiore, attest to the strong activity of the shops in the region; These are mostly works of remarkable quality, both of sculpture (Klosterneuburg; Vienna, Burgkapelle; Spitz ad Donau) and of painting, art in which the workshop that takes its name from the votive table of St. Lambrecht (Styria), the Master of the Presentation, in the Danube area (the work from which it takes its name is kept in Klosterneuburg), and another workshop that linked its name to a panel with the Crucifixion kept in Linz. The Mendicant Orders favored, in Austria, a monumental architecture (Imbach, Dominican church; Krems, church of the Friars Minor) for which they could benefit from the support of the ruling house (Vienna, churches of the Friars Minor and Augustinians; Gaming, Charterhouse). The solution adopted for the choir of the church of the Friars Minor in Vienna was subsequently applied to other churches as well, in which a larger one was built instead of the primitive choir which, thanks also to private donations, took on new functions. such as those of a private chapel or funerary chapel. In this period a type of tri-apsidal choir was adopted with particular frequency, with elongated naves covered by vaults of the same height, the Hallenchor; as an example of this type of choir it is possible to cite that of the cathedral of Regensburg, but also the work that constitutes the greatest architectural achievement of the Habsburgs, the reconstruction of the choir of the cathedral of Vienna (already since then designed as a bishopric), begun in 1304 at the time of King Albert I and consecrated under Duke Albert II. The interest of his son in the works commissioned in Prague by Emperor Charles IV determined the subsequent development of the building (the construction of the towers and the transformation of the naves into a ‘hall’ layout). As for the imposing choir with ambulatory of the abbey of Zwettl (consecration of 1348), it is not possible to establish whether its construction is linked to the architecture of the Parler family or whether it constitutes a revival of more ancient Cistercian forms (Clairvaux). The construction site of the cathedral of Vienna determined the architectural development of the following centuries. Among the most important works due to the workers who were active there are the nave of the church of Maria am Gestade and the Burgkapelle (1447-1449) in Vienna; but the influence of the shipyard also extended beyond this city, for example. in the Krems Piaristenkirche (consecrated in 1457). Hans Puchsbaum, documented in Ulm between 1417 and 1421, responsible for the construction of the cathedral in 1446, also directed the reconstruction of the parish church of Steyr, whose construction site, in the second half of the century. 15 °, had regained a significant influence, especially in the western area of the Austria It is possible to follow the most important phases of the artistic development of Vienna thanks also to a series of altars with doors, including the ‘Altar of Albert’ (Albrechtsaltar; 1438), a testimony of that first realistic phase of the century. 15 ° of which there are numerous significant examples in southern Germany and Switzerland. In the field of sculpture it is possible to find a parallel of this style in an altar with doors called the ‘altar of Znaimer’ (Vienna, Öst. Gal. Im Belvedere).With Frederick III, who chose it as his residence, Wiener Neustadt again obtained a remarkable importance. The robust castle complex was not only modeled and fortified according to the criteria of the time, but the emperor had the Georgskapelle erected, in front of the old chapel, larger and more representative. Its architect, Peter Pusika, also reconstructed the most important churches of the city in the style of the time, in which the cylindrical pillars appeared, a peculiarity of the architecture of Salzburg. The characteristic Salzburg architectural forms (Franciscan church) are also found elsewhere, in the Austria Superior: the most significant buildings from this point of view are the great abbey of Mondsee and the parish church of Braunau am Inn (from 1439)., a vast bas-relief wall decoration which, responding to a precise political program, flaunted the insignia relating to its powers. The large standing figure of the emperor, represented as archduke, and the statue of the Virgin of the so-called Wappenwand (‘wall-coat of arms’) – linked to the intense artistic activity of Styria, to whose territory Wiener Neustadt then belonged – constitute the most important testimonies of the sculpture of the time. For the chapel of the castle of Wiener Neustadt the emperor had designed his own funeral monument, destined to become the most important of the Late Middle Ages, calling from Strasbourg to carry out the work (which was eventually placed in the cathedral of Vienna) the Dutch Nikolaus Gerhaert of Leiden, whose presence had a decisive historical weight in Austria Annunciation in the cathedral of Wiener Neustadt and the one with the Annunciation and saints in the Burgkapelle of Vienna; the workshop that worked on the funeral monument of Frederick III also took up the style of Nikolaus Gerhaert). Annunciation in the cathedral of Wiener Neustadt and the one with the Annunciation and saints in the Burgkapelle of Vienna; the workshop that worked on the funeral monument of Frederick III also took up the style of Nikolaus Gerhaert).