Provincial and academic sculptors in the 18th century : the case of Wolfgang Träge
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2011, vol. 60 , iss. 1, pp. 42-49
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
The article is a short reflection on the question of the transformation of the status of academically trained artists in and just after the middle of the 18th century in Central Europe. Attention is paid in particular to the situation in Moravia and in Olomouc, where an increase in the involvement and importance of academically trained sculptors at the expense of local provincial artists can be observed in important artistic projects at this time. The example of the academic sculptor Wolfgang Träger (1716–1763) – who was originally from Bohemia, and although he spent the last period of his life in Olomouc, had previously (in the 1750s) worked successfully in the Imperial Academy in Vienna – is used to illustrate the character of academic teaching in the mid-18th century, and the different criteria used to evaluate the work of academic sculptors in comparison with that of provincial ones. These criteria included in particular an emphasis on mastering the art of drawing, design skills, and the constant practice and improvement of artistic skills by means of academic "competition".