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Parish Church Bartholomaeberg

by Theresa König last modified 2008-02-19 15:33

Parish Church, Bartholomaeberg

If you want to know what „baroque“ is, or what the term „baroque art“ means, then visit the Parish Church in Bartholomaeberg and take a look at the high altar.  Even if the alarm system doesn’t let you into the coral, you can still get a good look at the figure on the right hand side of the altar.  It portrays St. John from Nepomuk who was the patron saint that protected against all the dangers of water in the 18th century, which is why you see him in many churches and chapels as well as on bridges and paths.  According to legend, St. John took confession from the wife of the Bohemian king and never revealed what she said.  This is why artists usually portray him with his index finger up to his mouth in a gesture of not speaking.  In Bartholomaeberg, the saint is between the pillars that are all standing in a row and it shows the characteristic baroque swing in the way he holds his body as well as the folds in his robe.  Pay special attention to his left hand.  It is pointing downwards and if you look to the side and a little lower, you will notice a small angel in the light filled background of the coral window whose right hand takes on the movement of St. John’s left hand, and although the index finger of the angel’s left hand is broken off, we can see that it is holding it’s finger up to it’s mouth as well.  This is baroque – a theatrical, complete piece of artwork that performs next to and behind the stage of the altar. 
The church in Barholomaeberg shines a light on the situation of art in the 17th and 18th centuries.  If the late gothic art history really belongs to the artists from southern Germany, then the baroque times must belong to the artists that almost all came from the east, namely from the Tyrolean Oberland.  Sculpting clearly dominates over painting.  Andreas Kölle from Fendels in the Oberen Gericht (district of Landeck) belongs to the excellent representatives of his time and is known for his work in the abbey church in Stams.  The high altar, both side altars and the pulpit in the church in Bartholomaeberg are Kölle’s most well known works. He worked on them between 1736 and 1746, during the years when the late gothic church was turned to baroque.
The organ is also from the baroque age and many famous organ players come here to play on it.
Other important art treasures from the old church have also been preserved.  The first thing that has to be mentioned is the copy of the  Romanesque cross which was made in the second quarter of the 13th century in the well known work shops in Limoges in the south west of France.  Right next to it is the late gothic winged altar from the old church, which is known as the miners altar because of all of the patron saints of mining that are on it. 


P01-3 Parish Church Bartholomaeberg.mp3

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