Central Europe, Art in
CENTRAL EUROPE, ART IN
CENTRAL EUROPE, ART IN. The fluctuating nature of the cultural and political geography of Europe, together with the actual extent of the physical surface of the continent from the Urals to the Atlantic, has meant that the notion of a European center has been diversely interpreted. In physical terms, since the continent is conventionally regarded as stretching from 10° west to 60° east longitude and 70° to 35° north latitude, its center is somewhere near the Polish city of Lublin. The site of the conception of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569—the political alliance largely responsible for the political face of central European culture during the early modern era—the Lublin region ushered in the new age with the building of a model town according to an "ideal" plan by Chancellor Jan Zamoyski. At the center of major medieval north-south and east-west trading routes, this was Zamosc, designed by Bernardo Morando of Padua (late 1570s; built 1579–1640s). Within an octagon of walls and moats, Morando's interpretation of the Renaissance architectural theories of Serlio and Vignola saw the urban space divided into regularized commercial and residential quarters whose axes were marked by the Zamoyski palace, collegiate church, academy, synagogue, town hall, and two marketplaces. The universalist vision of geometric harmony, which coincided with Zamoyski's inception of the Polish Republic of Nobles, also encompassed the building of Armenian, Jesuit, Greek, and Russian Orthodox churches.
Despite its location and integrative modern concept, Zamosc lies on the northeastern side of the hub of central European visual culture in the early modern period. This core is conventionally considered to comprise the territories around Moravia, the centers for developments in the visual arts being the court metropolises of Prague in the west, Vienna and Pressburg (Bratislava) in the south, and Cracow in the east. Beyond this ring, however, were other major centers of diverse size and artistic direction. Their spread ranged at least from Gdańsk, Königsberg (Kaliningrad), and Vilnius in the Baltic north, through a central belt that stretched from Augsburg and Dresden in the west to Buda and Lwów (Lviv) in the east and included Breslau (Wrocław) and Warsaw, to Agram (Zagreb), Laibach (Ljubljana), Venice, Dar al-Djihad (Bel-grade), Sarajevo, and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) in the Adriatic south. Despite the prominence of these cities in the production of visual art during the early modern period, due to the terrain and feudal organization of society across the entire region, much art was produced outside of the major cities in smaller provincial centers and country estates.
In 1500 the cultural map of the area definable as central Europe was divided between three main powers: the Habsburgs, the Ottomans, and the Jagiellonians. Governance from Istanbul covered the provinces of Rumeli (the "Roman" Balkans, including Eflak [Wallachia] and Bosnia), and Macaristan and Bugdan (Hungary and Moldova). The Habsburg dominions included Austria, Styria, and considerable German territories. Jagiellonian power extended from Cracow, west into Bohemia, and east through the Kingdom of Poland to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Other powers were Venice, which controlled much of the Dalmatian coast, and the Germanic states, notably Saxony and Brandenburg.
By 1800 the Polish territories had switched from temporary control by the Swedish Vasa and were dominated by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Hungary, Transylvania, and the Banat, following many years of Turkish rule, became Austrian. The political transitions of the turbulent period, often extremely bloody, were counterparts to religious and social upheaval. The intricate involvement of central Europe in the Protestant Reformation, Catholic Counter-Reformation, Catholic-Orthodox rivalry, Judaic discrimination and Islamicization, and the inherent strength of pagan traditions, meant that all these left indelible marks on the visual arts of the period.
Other principal influences on the development and appearance of the arts included the introduction of new or adapted technologies such as printing and faience; the establishment of major collections, such as the Czartoryski in Poland; and the development of secular education, literature, music, and theater. A further influence was the presence of multiple ethnic groups, many widely dispersed and nonindigenous yet with their own clearly marked traditions and identities, among them Jews, Armenians, and Germans.
THE VISUAL ARTS UNDER THE OTTOMANS
The appearance of Ottoman art in central Europe is dominated by architecture and the applied arts. In architecture, mosques (djami, cami), baths (hamam and ilidje), inns (caravansary and han ), charitable foundations (külliye), schools (medrese), mausolea (türbe), markets (bedesten), bridges, tents, and manors (kule) were the principal buildings, while the principal applied arts were textiles (kilim, kaftan, ferace ), leatherwork, ceramics, and metal-ware. Garden and fountain art also was cultivated, as in Sarajevo on the right bank of the Miljacka River and the Feredjusha fountain (destroyed). The most luxurious townhouses (konak) were built for high officials. Their walls were often adorned with floral motifs and painted or tiled Arabic inscriptions whose exquisite calligraphic qualities made them one of the highest forms of visual art. Serbian examples survive in Djakovica, Vranje, Pristina, and Pec.
In Eflak the most remarkable bridge was constructed over the Neretva River at Mostar (1566, Mimar Hayreddin, destroyed 1993), during the reign of Suleiman I. Its emblematic narrow, pointed vault linked the city's Moslem, Croatian, and Serbian quarters. The pile bridge over the Drava River near Osijek (1526) was designed by Suleiman's chief architect, Mimar Sinan, who also transformed Esztergom Cathedral into a mosque, adding a minaret.
The Svrzo House (sixteenth century) in Sarajevo, replete with its stalactite-vaulted entrance, is a fine example of Ottoman-style residential building (kuca). The essential rule of the Ottoman dwelling was that it not convey a sense of wealth or magnificence, either externally or internally. Furniture was sparse and included neither tables nor chairs; the only ornamentation was a few inscriptions (yafte) on the walls; household utensils were minimal. Post-and-pane construction was characteristic, with space organized according to gender divisions.
Turkish baths included the Ferizbei (Sarajevo, 1509), Kaplu (Király) and Veli bei (Császár) (both Buda, 1560s–1570s). The Buda thermal baths were built (and later beautified) by Pasha Mustafa Sokoly. Their impressive octagonal bathing rooms (harara) are surmounted by a dome supported by squat pillars. One of the finest caravansaries in central Europe was the Kursumli Han in Skopje, Macedonia, probably built by Ragusa merchants in the sixteenth century.
Mosques included the Gazi Husrev-begova (Sarajevo, 1530–1540), Gazi Kassim (Pécs, 1550s–1560s), Tombul (Shumla or Shumen, 1744), Ferhad Pasha (Banja Luka, 1576–1579, destroyed 1993), Aladza (Foca, 1550–1588, destroyed early 1990s), Yakovali Hassan (Pécs, sixteenth century), and Sinan Pasha (Prizren, 1615). According to the seventeenth-century Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi, the beauty of the latter was unparalleled: "such impressiveness has not been achieved by any previous architect on the planet Earth." The Gazi Husrevbegova, named after its founder, the enlightened and philanthropic governor of Bosnia, has a typical flattened dome on an octagonal drum surrounded by smaller half-domes. The large Ferhad mosque included in its inner court a shadirvan (fountain) surrounded by türbe of the founder and followers. A popular plan for the mosques, as witnessed, for example, in the Gazi Kassim at Pécs, was square with a central saucer dome on pendentives, conjoined with three lower smaller domes and minaret that formed an antechamber. The northernmost Ottoman mosque was at Eger, Hungary (minaret extant, sixteenth century). The mid-eighteenth-century Tombul mosque complex built by Pasha Halil Sherif in Shumla is, as evinced through the internal decoration of its walls with polychromatic floral and geometric motifs and Islamic inscriptions, a fine example of a late flourishing in central Europe of Istanbul's "tulip" style.
Lodges (tekke) for the Sufi dervish orders could also be significant architectural monuments, such as that of Sersem Ali Baba at Tetova (Kalkandelen, Macedonia, eighteenth century), the Dollma tekke at Krujë, Albania, and the Sinan Pasha tekke in Sarajevo (1640). A fine example of a domed medrese with centralized arcaded courtyard and fountain is the Gazi Husrev-begova Kursunlu medrese in Sarajevo (1557). Shortly before the building of the medrese, Sarajevo gained one of Central Europe's best examples of a covered bazaar, the hexa-domed Brusa bezistan (1557). The Turks also built clock towers, including the Sahat-kula (seventeenth century) in Sarajevo.
Ottoman influence is also evident in the art of the nations connected with the Ottoman territories. Thus, from the seventeenth century colored floral and geometricized Turkish textile design, as well as Turkish fabrics, were incorporated into Polish liturgical vestments and carpets. Embroidered Turkish silk caparisons (shabrack) were frequently adopted by the Poles and sometimes converted into altar frontals. Other embroidered work of the Turks was remade into chasubles. Similar transferences were found in Polish and Transylvanian leatherwork (for example, embossed saddles and flasks). Furthermore, the east Serbian town of Pirot became renowned for its kilim production. Following capture as booty in the seventeenth century, the red silk Turkish tent, decorated with gold, silver, green, and light red floral arabesques, became a feature in Polish art, not least in its use during important ceremonial state occasions, official meetings, and garden parties. One of the most important manufactories for Turkish-style canvas tents and woolen carpets was the Koniecpolskis at Brody. Fine ceramicware, including faience jugs, cups, and plates was imported from the Turkish Iznik and Kütahya workshops. This influenced the designs of Anabaptist Habaner majolica produced in Slovakian lands in the late seventeenth century, with its range of stylized floral and architectural motifs, use of cobalt blue, and particular preference for the tulip.
In addition, Ottoman rule allowed for a certain multiculturalism. A synagogue and Orthodox cathedral (both extant) were built in Sarajevo in the sixteenth century. In Karadag (Montenegro) the Orthodox monastery of Moraca became a center for icon painting in the seventeenth century. Georgije Mitrofanović, a monk from Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos who worked in a post-Byzantine style, led this movement. Further, baroque flourishes are to be seen in the eighteenth-century art of a group of painters from Kotor on the Adriatic coast, notably that of the church decorator Tripo Kokolja and the portrait painter Antun Mazarović. Following the restoration of the Serbian patriarchate at Pećin 1557, post-Byzantine fresco and icon painting revived, the greatest painters being Longin (Decani, Lomnica, and Piva monasteries, late sixteenth century) and Djordje Mitrofanovic (Moraca monastery, 1616–1617).
THE VISUAL ARTS UNDER THE JAGIELLONIANS AND THEIR SUCCESSORS: SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES
The Jagiellonian dynasty, descendants of the Lithuanian grand duke Jogaila (Władyłsaw) and Jadwiga of Anjou, ruled the vast central European Polish and Lithuanian territories from 1386 through 1572 and were monarchs of Hungary and Bohemia from the late fifteenth century to 1526. Through marriage they were also connected to the subsequent rulers of Poland, the Transylvanian Stephen Báthory, and the Swedish Vasa house. Under their most prominent sixteenth-century kings, Sigismund I and Sigismund II Augustus (ruled 1506–1548 and 1548–1572, respectively) and Queen Anna (1575–1586), the arts flourished, and nowhere more so than in the heart of their kingdom, Wawel Castle in Cracow. Its rebuilding by the Florentine architect known as Francesco Fiorentino meant the creation of an inner arcaded courtyard (1507–1536) with steeply pitched "northern" tiled roof, two levels of round arches, and a high loggia marked by doubled classical columns. In the early 1530s an original form of decoration was applied to the coffered ceiling of the Ambassadors' Hall, where 194 grotesquely expressive wooden heads, carved by the team of Sebastian Tauerbach of Breslau, represented the mix of Polish society. The humanist range of the heads coincided with that revealed in the vision of Cracowian life presented in the illuminations of Balthazar Behem's Codex (1505).
Nobles' castles that followed the Jagiellonian Italianate style included the Piast family stronghold at Brieg (Brzeg, Silesia, c. 1550), the Leszczynski's Baranów Sandomierski (Santi Gucci, 1591–1606), and the Krasicki's Krasiczyn (Galeazzo Appiano, 1597–1630). Another arcaded structure (also castellated) is the town hall in Poznan (Giovanni Battista Quadro, 1550–1560), the scale and decoration of which emphasized the rapid rise of the city's civic status and values.
Italian Renaissance convention was further introduced in the Sigismund Chapel (Kaplica Zygmuntowska, 1517–1533) of Wawel Cathedral by another Florentine, Bartolommeo Berrecci. This has a centralized plan with square base, octagonal drum, and dome. The interior glorification of the monarch and the Virgin Mary through a rich interplay of numerous symbols of harmonic authority is set by walls divided according to the principle of the Roman triumphal arch. All three monarchs are entombed here, their sarcophagi in Esztergom red marble (the latter two by Santi Gucci) featuring recumbent chivalric figures whose peaceful vitality creates a counterpoint to the grotesque wall ornamentation. The pentaptych, or five-panel altarpiece, was executed by Nuremberg artists (1531–1538). A miniature visual counterpart to the chapel was provided by Stanislaw Samostrzelnik, illuminator of prayer books of Sigismund I and his wife Queen Bona Sforza (for example, the latter's Book of Hours, 1528, Bodleian Library, Oxford). Simultaneously, Cracowian and other anonymous Polish religious painters began to paint in the style of Cranach, who was active in neighboring Saxony from 1505, after which he also worked for the Polish court.
The fashion for the Renaissance mausoleum grew, culminating in the Boim Chapel, Lwów (1609–1615, Andreas Bemer). Likewise, sepulchral sculpture in similar Renaissance style was to be created by Giovanni Maria Mosca (Il Padovano), as witnessed in the Tarnów Cathedral sarcophagi for the Tarnowski hetmans, and by Jan Michalowicz (for example, Bishop Padniewski's tomb, Wawel Cathedral, c. 1575). Subsequently, a new dynamic monumentalism was introduced and became common for Polish ecclesiastical architecture (such as SS. Peter and Paul, Cracow, 1596–1635, Giovanni Trevano).
A distinctive feature of the "Polish Renaissance" was the "Polish attic," a rhythmical decorative crown that hid the roof and gave a rich accent to the upper levels of a variety of examples of urban architecture: the Cracow Cloth Hall (1557–1558), the town houses of Zamosc and Kazimierz Dolny (early seventeenth century), and Gdańsk Upper (Wyzynna) Gate (1586–1589), arsenal (1602–1605) and town hall (1587–1608). The latter acquired Netherlandish qualities as a result of the arrival of architects and decorators such as Anthonis van Opbergen and Willem, Abraham, and Isaak van den Blocke from the strife-torn Low Countries. While a sublimely tapering Bruges-style clock tower capped the town hall, its internal decoration was also highly ornate, the whole being conceived as part of a lavish civic and Calvinist iconographic program. At the same time in Lwów a new sophisticated blend of Byzantine and Renaissance language was attained in the Orthodox Wallachian Church of the Assumption (1591–1629, Paolo Dominici) and its Korniakta Tower (1572–1578, Pietro di Barbona), built for the Stauropegia Brotherhood.
The new regard for the individual and the societal witnessed in the Wawel and Zamosc was furthered by the development of portrait painting from the mid-sixteenth century. This included the formal, royal, and noble portraits attributed to the Silesian Marcin Kober, who created authoritative character images with figures set against neutral backgrounds, such as King Stefan Batory (1583, Wawel Collection, Cracow). The success of these led to his appointment in Prague as painter to Rudolf II. With the decentralization of culture ushered in by Lublin, after the turn of the seventeenth century the vogue for palaces with portrait galleries dedicated to noble family lineage became widespread. French château inspiration is revealed in the hetman's castle at Podhorce, near Brody (1635–1640, Andrea dell'Agua, Guillaume de Beauplan), where Count Stanislaw Koniecpolski also established a major weaving manufactory, producing textiles in adapted Flemish and oriental styles.
Particularly fashionable among the Radziwills, Czartoryskis, Potockis, Lubomirskis, and their peers was an eastward-looking trend known as "Sarmatism." In this the gentry articulated their deemed superiority by regarding themselves as the descendants of the ancient, conquering Sarmatians. They did so by orientalizing their costume and applied arts, from the addition of fur-lined kontusz overcoats with sashes to armor such as the karabela saber, and the luxurious interior decoration of their new houses. The ktitor (noble patron) portrait became especially popular. The apogee of the style was reached in elected King Jan III Sobieski's Sarmatist court taste, as witnessed in its blending with the baroque at his main residence, Wilanow Palace, Warsaw (Augustine Locci, 1677–1696). The prime early exponent of the Sarmatist fashion for Sobieski's predecessors, the Vasas, was Tommaso Dolabella, whose painting (portraits, historical, and religious cycles) had simultaneously introduced Italian baroque conventions. His Gdańsk contemporary Daniel Schultz revealed the osmotic relationship of the trends by painting a Family Portrait (1664, Hermitage, St. Petersburg) in the style of Rembrandt. In the eighteenth century Dolabella's place was taken by the versatile Szymon Czechowicz.
The election of the Saxon Wettin dukes, Augustus II the Strong (ruled 1697–1733) and his son Augustus III (ruled 1733–1763), to the Polish throne essentially meant rule from Dresden and a period of cultural provincialization for the Polish lands. However, some outstanding monuments and artists did appear, particularly those connected with the church. The "Saxon era" saw the building of St. George's Cathedral as the seat of the Greek Catholic Uniate metropoly in Lwów (Bernard Meretini, 1744–1761), with a rococo plasticity that coincided with the dynamic, expressive sculptural work of Johann Georg Pinsel, one of its decorators. Prominent architects included the Fontanas, Jakub, Józef, and Pawel, who prefered twin-towered western facades and octagonal naves for their numerous churches, and built the Radzyn Podlaski house of the Potocki family in the French rococo style (1750–1758). Similar aristocratic taste was expressed in the ornate rebuilding and decoration of Choroszcz, the Bialystok palace of the Branickis by the Saxon Sigismund Deybel (1728–1752). The painter best identified with the period was Rometrained Tadeusz Kuntze, who excelled in a theatrical frivolity and sensuality.
In the same period the arts in Dresden flourished. The Wettin court, which had already seen the creation of the Palais im Grossen Garten (1679–1683, Johann Georg Starcke) in a hybrid Roman-Louis XIV style, became a center of festivities. Orchestrated by the elector-kings, a key venue for these was the extravagant baroque Zwinger palace (from 1709, Matthaüs Pöppelmann; sculpture by Balthasar Permoser). The monumental Roman Catholic Hofkirche (1737–1755, Gaetano Chiaveri) and Protestant Frauenkirche (1726–1743, Georg Bähr, destroyed), with their neo-Roman and neo-Greek plans, added an alternative vocabulary to the architectural and cultural dialogue. It was here that the antique sensibilities of the aesthete Johann Joachim Winckelmann and painter Anton Raphael Mengs were nurtured. Further, Wettin oriental taste brought about the manufacture of porcelain at Meissen from 1710. This coincided with a new era of art collecting that saw the creation of Augustus's Green Vaults decorative arts selection and the Stall-hof gallery of Old Masters (1720s).
The reign of Poland's last king, Stanisław II Augustus Poniatowski (ruled 1764–1795), saw the introduction of neoclassicism in the visual arts, exemplified in architecture and gardening by the royal Lazienki palace and park complex in Warsaw (1775–1792, Domenico Merlini, Jan Christian Kamsetzer), and, on the magnates' estates, at the Potocki's Palladianist Tulczyn (1775–1785, Joseph Lacroix) and Czartoryski's Pulawy (1780s, Chrystian Piotr Aigner). It was to the latter that Jean-Pierre Norblin, the versatile and topical founder of the Polish national school of painting, emigrated from France. Norblin was also to work for Princess Helena Radziwill in the decoration of her ideal rustic paradise Arkadia (by Lowicz), where Simon Gottlieb Zug introduced a new romantic ambience by blending the neoclassical and neo-Gothic in the landscape architecture (1780–1798). Prior to Norblin, Marcello Bacciarelli, head of Stanisław's art studio in Warsaw Castle, brought new intimacy and elegance to Polish painting, while Bernardo Bellotto (Canaletto) introduced the city vedute during his extended stay.
THE VISUAL ARTS UNDER THE HABSBURGS: SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES
The visual arts in the Habsburg's central European lands developed most significantly after the accession of Ferdinand I, through his Jagiellonian marriage, to the Bohemian and Hungarian thrones in 1526. While small east Bohemian towns such as Pardubice, Nové Mesto nad Metuji, and Telc were rebuilt with regularized Renaissance plans and arcaded squares, Ferdinand's residence at Prague Castle (Hradcany) also acquired a new appearance. First the colonnaded Belvedere Palace (1534–1563, Paolo della Stella, Bonifaz Wohlmut) was created as a modern Italianate garden villa with a "singing" fountain and a hundred sandstone reliefs aggrandizing the Habsburgs. Then other structures by Wohlmut, such as the organ loft in St. Veit's Cathedral (1556–1561) and Ball Court (1567–1569) showed similar awareness of new Italian architectural theory.
Simultaneously, Bohemian and Moravian castles acquired regular plans, arcaded courtyards with superpositioned orders and lavish French Renaissance-style interior decoration, as at Moravsky Krumlov (1557–1562, Leone Garove da Bissone) and Bucovice (c. 1570–1580s), residences of the lord high marshal and steward of the kingdom, respectively. Assembly buildings and town halls followed suit, as at Graz, Brunn (Brno), and Pressburg. Sgraffito and gables of exaggerated forms characterized the exteriors of many of the new buildings across the region. Designer of court festivities and ceilings for Maximilian II and Rudolf II was Giuseppe Arcimboldo (c. 1530–1593), widely known for his painting of allegories in the form of composite heads crafted from animals and still-life objects.
With the establishment of Prague as the imperial capital by Rudolf II (ruled 1576–1612) came a dynamic new era for the visual arts. Chief city planner and architect was Giovanni Maria Filippi, the probable designer of the city's first baroque church, the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity (1609–1613). Artists of Netherlandish and German origins and Venetian or Tuscan training were attracted to the city, the Prague court circle that they formed eloquently working in a wide variety of media, genres, and styles. Alongside a new propensity for classical and biblical allegory, genres extended to Habsburg-Ottoman battle paintings, the erotic, low-life, still-life, and landscape. Painters included Bartholomäus Spranger, Hans von Aachen, Joseph Heintz, and Roelandt Savery. Sculptors included Adriaen de Vries, who went on, in the post-1620 Counter-Reformation period, to decorate Count Albrecht Wallenstein's monumental new palace (1621–1623, Andrea Spezza). Rudolf also built up one of central Europe's most important art collections, the Prague Kunstkammer.
The period after the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), and particularly the reign of Leopold I (ruled 1655–1705), is most clearly identified with the central European early baroque. Palace architecture, in the wake of the Leopoldine Tract (1660–1666 and, later, Filiberto Lucchese) in the Viennese imperial residence, the Hofburg, became increasingly grandiose. The rise of the Jesuits had led during the second quarter of the century to the construction of new, frequently large-scale, Italianate twin-towered churches and colleges (as Palatine count Miklós Esterházy's Church of St. John, Tyrnau [Trnava], Upper Hungary, 1629–1637, Pietro Spezza; and the Clementium, Prague, 1644–1658, Carlo Lugaro), and militant Catholic Mariensäule, 'Mary columns', erected in thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for deliverance from the threat of the Protestant Swedish forces (for example, 1646, Vienna). The latter anticipated the raising of a series of prominent Habsburg Pestsäule, 'plague columns', across the territories, such as the Dreifaltigkeitssäule, 'Trinity Column', in Vienna (1679–1694, Matthias Rauchmiller, Paul Strudel, Lodovico Ottavio Burnacini), erected after the 1683 defeat of the Turks at Vienna. The return to Bohemia from Italian exile of Karel Skreta, a painter capable of expressing intense, lyrical feeling in both portraits and votive images, helped lay the foundations of the Bohemian school of painting. His sensitive, Netherlands-trained, religious counterpart was Michael Willmann, an East Prussian who in 1660 established a highly influential painting workshop at the Cistercian monastery of Leubus, Silesia.
The Habsburg imperial style (Reichsstil) was established around the turn of the eighteenth century, following the expulsion of the Turks from the northwestern central European territories. It coincided with the establishment of the region's first art academy, initially as the Kaiserliche Akademie (1692–1714) in the house of the court painter Peter Strudel, and then, in 1725, as the Akademie der Maler, Bildhauer, und Baukünstler, under the Flemish portrait painter Jacob van Schuppen. The latter organized it according to the model of the Parisian Académie Royale. Early students included the architect Franz Hillebrandt, who subsequently became chief architect of the Hungarian Treasury, and the portrait painter Daniel Schmidely. Members included the fresco painters Paul Troger, his pupil Franz Anton Maulbertsch, and Michael Angelo Unterberger, all of whom emerged as influential teachers and the baroque image makers of "holy Austria."
The imperial style's leading architectural exponent was Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, who initially participated in the creation of the Trinity Column and designed triumphal arches for Vienna celebrating victories over the Turks and the French and then built the Schönbrunn palace (1696–1711). During the reign of Charles VI, Fischer and his son also built the Viennese Hofbibliothek (Imperial Library, 1722–1735), the interior of which was painted by Daniel Gran according to the Habsburg programmatic conception of the triumph of enlightened civilization. In addition, Fischer designed the imperial Karlskirche (Charles Church, 1716–1737) in a composite style as a Christian, pagan, and masonic embodiment of universal harmony, hence its ovoid space, centralized plan, Roman and Hellenistic idioms, fresco painting by Johann Michael Rottmayr, and flanking by minaretevocative victory columns. Concurrently, the Belvedere Palace (1714–1716 and 1721–1723, Vienna, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt) was built for Prince Eugene of Savoy as a monumental, glorifying emblem of his successes against the Turks, replete with trophies and a Neopolitan-style ceiling painting of his apotheosis by Martino Altomonte.
The Austrian, Bohemian, and Hungarian realms saw the raising of numerous abbeys, churches, palaces, and new institutions with similar signification and articulation during the early eighteenth century. Primary examples included Melk Abbey (1702–1714, Jakob Prandtauer); the Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity in Laibach (Ljubljana, 1718–1726, Carlo Martinuzzi); the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius in Ragusa (Dubrovnik, 1699–1725, Andrea Pozzo); and the Esterházy commissions in Hungary-Croatia, for example, the Franciscan Church (Frauenkirche, 1695–1702, Francesco Martinelli) and Lanschütz Palace (Cseklész, Bernolákovo, 1714–1733, Anton Erhard Martinelli).
Lanschütz, the residence of the Hungarian chancellor Ferenc Esterházy, was redesigned in the 1770s to include oriental features such as a Japanese pagoda and Chinese teahouse. The changes coincided with the reign of Maria Theresa (ruled 1740–1780), when the nearby city of Pressburg (Poszony, Bratislava) became the Hungarian capital and, as such, site and disseminator of a late baroque boom. This was led by the projects of Hillebrandt, which included the reconstruction or completion of royal and noble palaces in Pozsony and Buda, and which was informed by the infusion of the baroque with a restrained neoclassical spirit as witnessed in the Roman Catholic Cathedral and Episcopal Palace at Grosswardein (Nagyvárad, Oradea) in the Banat; and the university at Tyrnau. Home of the Austrian vice-regents, Marie-Christine and Albert, son of Augustus III Wettin, Pozsony was also the site of the original Albertina art collection. The Primate's palace (1777–1781), built by Melchior Manyhért Hefele, professor of architecture at the Vienna Academy, for Archbishop Count József Batthyány, epitomized the classicizing tendencies of the new era. Adorned with a tetrastyle portico and pedimented cornice featuring an array of allegorical figures by the most expressive sculptor of the age, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, the palace was complemented by the oval space of the St. Ladislaus chapel, with its painted ceiling dedicated to the glory and sanctification of the holy, chivalric Magyar king who had repelled the oriental Cumans in the eleventh century. It was the work of Maulbertsch, the "Austrian Tiepolo," the outstanding product of the Vienna Academy and central Europe's most sublime monumental painter in the late eighteenth century.
The rococo tendencies and emotional tension evinced by much of Maulbertsch's work brought him into conflict with the Vienna Academy, which, during the centralizing reign of Joseph II and thereafter, promulgated a more severe neoclassicism, as advocated by the director, Friedrich Heinrich Füger, a follower of Winckelmann and Mengs.
See also Architecture ; Baroque ; Cracow ; Dresden ; Gdańsk ; Habsburg Territories ; Jagiellon Dynasty (Poland-Lithuania) ; Maulbertsch, Franz Anton ; Mengs, Anton Raphael ; National Identity ; Neoclassicism ; Poland, Partitions of ; Polish Succession, War of the (1733–1738) ; Prague ; Rococo ; Sarmatism ; Vienna ; Winckelmann, Johann Joachim .
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"Central Europe, Art in." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/central-europe-art
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