Another Baroque/Rococo Jewel Saved in the Database: the Wilhering Abbey Church


When I started working for this article with the Museum With No Frontiers that actually has been edited I had no idea how much history was behind the construction of the building. Everything began with a big fire in the 18th century. It was arson, and the two incendiaries were sentenced to death. Only one of them, a girl, fortunately 12 years young, was granted a reprieve.


When entering the church dedicated to the Mother of God, one is overwhelmed. The beauty and the harmony of architecture, art, colours and light harmonise as a total work of art. And nobody would think that there was no artistic concept when they started to decorate the interior. Paintings, stucco work and fittings were (mostly) done one after the other in different phases and with different teams.

DSC_0216_bearbeitet-1 DSC_0218_bearbeitet-2

I remember that when we entered the church the first time to take photos for the article (it wasn´t really the very first time as I must have been there some years ago, don´t exactly remember when and why) we didn´t know where to look first. There are so many details, some of them only visible on the laptop screen as I am myopic. Then the great delight when I recognise what I was searching for, such as the stucco frames´ shaping that surround the fresco paintings on the ceiling.


The view up to the ceiling is a view into Heaven – above the pilasters there is a continuous dark red cornice/entablature that divides the room into a celestial and a terrestrial part. White walls with grey pilasters in the lower area differ from the upper area by colourful fresco paintings, gilded ornamental stucco and figures. And it looks as if the gold on the capitals had dropped from heaven to bring light to earth and to connect therewith the two zones.


Very special in the church: there is a lot of stucco work, not only ornaments but every single figure is made of stucco. And there are many. Above and around the organ there are umpteen putti and angels, some playing instruments and concerting for the glory of the Madonna. And there are others (like the two on the photo below) who look as if they are going to play a trick on somebody. On whom? On the church visitors? Certainly not on the Madonna.



Post a Comment