Artists and court artistic craftsmen in the Valtice church registers
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2011, vol. 60 , iss. 1, pp. 50-73
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
Valtice (Feldberg), the town which was the principal residence of the Princes of Liechtenstein, was from the 17th century onwards one of the most important cultural and artistic centres on the border between Moravia and Austria. Thanks to the extensive building projects of the princely family, a large number of artists were to be found here, especially during the Baroque period. However, in spite of analyses of the seigniorial accounts, their names and social status have often remained unknown. A key source for the history of art in Valtice in this respect is the church registers, which were carefully kept from 1615 onwards. In entries in the registers can be found a large number of names of artists and craftsmen with details making it possible to compile a relatively extensive biographical dictionary of them for the period 1615–1732. The names found here provide evidence of the relationships between the artistic centres and the periphery, the movements of artistic craftsmen in Central Europe, and the remarkable social connections within the artistic community. In addition to well-known names (Giovanni Jacobo and Giovanni Tencalla, Antonio Carlone /†1664/, Johann Battista Erna /1622/23–1698/, Adam Lenckhard /1610–1661/), Pietro Maino Maderno /ca 1592–1653/, Domenico Mainardi, and Frantz Biener /1681/82–1742/, the dictionary also contains hitherto quite unknown artists (such as Giovanni Pietro Fiumbert, Lorenz Printzer /†1621/ and Valentin Hinterholtzer /†1645/), who evidently had an impact on the appearance of the main Liechtenstein residences throughout Moravia. Thanks to analyses of the entries in the registers it is possible to date and describe the functioning of stonemasons' and other craftsmen's workshops, and in some cases the establishment of rival stonemason dynasties and the arrival of artists from Vienna and other artistic centres. The result of this dictionary of artists and craftsmen in Valtice is not just a contribution to a dictionary of artists but in particular a better understanding of the way artists established roots in Moravian society during the Baroque period.