J. Winterhalder, Vision of St. Augustine
The Vision of Saints Augustine and Norbert
Governor’s Palace, Brno, Moravia, Czech Republic
Moravian Gallery, Brno
Josef Winterhalder Jr. (1743, Vöhrenbach-1807, Znojmo)
Oil on canvas
H: 79.4 cm; w: 47 cm
Čechy pod Kosířem Chateau
The structure of the picture is based on the contrast between an intricately segmented, sacred architectural space and a figurative group within it. While the artist represented the architecture with a scale of subtly harmonised and graded neutral tones accentuated by light falling from the left, the figures are rendered in rich tones of red, blue, gold and dark green. St. Augustine, surrounded by the founders of orders observing his rules, is additionally illuminated by the light of God's eye, penetrating the Host (monstrance) carried by an angel. The Host is being worshipped by St. Norbert, founder of the Premonstratensian order. The monstrance is also an attribute of St. Norbert. A putto points to a burning heart an attribute of St. Augustine. An angel on the left aims bolts of anger at heretics.
This small format picture, appearing as an autonomous piece rather than a modello, is among the leading works of Winterhalder Jr., a student, assistant and follower of F. A. Maulbertsch, whose motifs from Klosterneuburg appear in the picture. The theatrical architecture is derived from stage designs by the Galli-Bibiena family in Bologna, also active in Vienna and known from prints. The dating indicates that Winterhalder painted the picture after a period of collaboration with Maulbertsch in Dyje. The presence of major Premonstratensian saints places the work among paintings for the Louka u Znojma Monastery. The illusionary architecture bears witness to the decorative skills that flourished towards the end of Winterhalder's career.
Josef Winterhalder Jr. was born in Schwarzwald. He came to Moravia with his uncle, a sculptor. He was first apprenticed to J. Stern in Brno and later to F. A. Maulbertsch. He frequently collaborated with A. Schweigl, with whom he coined a specific style for a number of Moravian chateau and church interiors. Winterhalder Jr. wrote a book on South Moravian artists which also contained his autobiography.
Moravian Gallery, Brno
Private owner, Židlochovice
Marked bottom left: Winterhalder Pinx 1778.
The picture comes from the property of a parish priest in Židlochovice, near Brno. Until 1945 it was in the Čechy po Kosířem Chateau, the property of Count Silva-Taroucca, a major art collector and benefactor of the Brno Picture Gallery.
Johann Jakob Heinrich Czikann, “Joseph Winterhalder”, in Johann Georg Meusel (ed), Archiv für Künstler und Kunstfreunde II, 4, Dresden, 1808, pp. 70–75.
Klára Garas, “Joseph Winterhalder (1743–1807)”, Bulletin du Musée national hongrois des beaux-arts 14, 1959, p. 89.
Vlasta Kratinová, in Franz Anton Maulbertsch. Ausstellung anlässlich seines 250. Geburtstages, Wien–Halbturn–Heiligenkreuz–Gutenbrunn, 1974, pp. 182–183.
Vlasta Kratinová, in Jiří Kroupa (ed), Dans le miroir des ombres. La Moravie a la age baroque 1760–1790, Brno–Paris–Rennes, 2002, pp. 241–242, cat. 88.
Zora Wörgötter, in Zora Wörgötter – Eduard Hindelang (eds), Franz Anton Maulbertsch und sein Umkreis in Mähren. Ausgewählte Werke aus tschechischen Sammlungen. Ausstellungsführer, Langenargen, 2006, p. 38, cat. 18.
Zora Wörgötter "The Vision of Saints Augustine and Norbert" in Discover Baroque Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;BAR;cz;Mus11;46;en&id=theatre
Prepared by: Zora WörgötterZora Wörgötter
AFFILIATION: Moravian Gallery in Brno
TITLE: Museum Curator and Local Co-ordinator
Zora Wörgötter studied Applied Painting at the Secondary School of Applied Arts, Video Art (Faculty of Fine Arts) at the University of Technology in Brno and Art History and Ethnology (Faculty of Arts) at Masaryk University, Brno. She has worked at the Moravian Gallery since 1997 and was curator of the Ancient Art Collection up until 2008. Specialising in Dutch and Central European painting of the 17th and 18th centuries, she has participated in the preparation of several exhibitions, catalogues and research projects in the Czech Republic and abroad, and published in the Moravian Gallery Bulletin, Opuscula historiae artium, and other journals. She is co-ordinator of the Art History Database www.ahice.net for the Czech Republic.
Copyedited by: Jiří KroupaJiří Kroupa
AFFILIATION: Department of the History of Art (Faculty of Arts) Masaryk
Professor Jiří Kroupa studied Art History, History and Sociology Masaryk University, Brno. He was a curator at the Kroměříž Museum and the Moravian Gallery in Brno before joining the staff at Masaryk University in 1988 (Head of the Department 1992–2002; Professor 1999 to present). His particular fields of interest are in the history of architecture, 18th-century cultural history and the methodology of art history. His long list of publications includes an edition on the architect Franz Anton Grimm and an essay “The alchemy of happiness: the Enlightenment in the Moravian context”. He was contributing editor for the volume Dans le miroir des ombres. Moravie a la age baroque. 1670–1790 (2002).
Translation by: Irma Charvátová
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: CZ 47