The miracles of St. Liborius in Jesenec : on the relationship between Baroque paintings and homiletics
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2011, vol. 60 , iss. 2, pp. 92-109
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
The paintings decorating the pilgrimage church of St. Liborius in Jesenec were traditionally attributed to the painter Karl Harringer (1687–1734), a native of Vienna. However, recent findings indicate that the paintings on the vault of the church were done by the painter Jan Michael Fissé from Znojmo (1686–1732) around the year 1710. This study examines the parallels between these paintings and six sermons preached in the church in Jesenec by the well-known Moravian preacher Bohumír Josef Hynek Bílovský (1659-1725) in the years 1708 to 1713, at a time when the church was under construction and gradually being rebuilt. A comparison of text and image has shown that Fissé's paintings were not simply illustrations or a pictorial accompaniment to Bílovský's discourses, but rather that the sermons and the way they were structured provided a sort of guide to viewing and interpreting the paintings. The message contained in the text was further developed by the ceiling paintings by means of their own particular devices, and they thus created a further level of meaning, going beyond the text or the discourse of the preacher and inviting viewers to make use of their own powers of imagination. The relationship between the paintings on the vault and Bílovský's sermons is thus not a completely direct one, but it is still clear that the texts were a very important part of the interpretation of the artistic decoration of the church at that time and one of the ways through which Fissé's complicated scenes could be understood.