The aim of this platform incepted at the OeAW in 2005 is to foster collaboration between various European research institutions researching Baroque mural and ceiling painting in Europe. The work is conducted by the respective countries via their own projects and initiatives, ranging from research documentation such as the production of work corpora to monographs on artists and works and case studies.
A key instrument of our work is a database funded by the Czech Academy of Sciences on the basis of several photographic campaigns. This database is the first ever to undertake the comprehensive documentation of mural and ceiling paintings for the purposes of their study.
Its material is based on the transnational investigation of artistic and thematic aspects of the abundant production of paintings in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a focus on artistic exchange, epoch boundaries, patrons, production in the urban and religious spheres and the manifold dimensions of the content of mural and ceiling painting (programmes) and their reception.
With Hebert Karner’s acceptance of the presidency of the Research Group in October 2016, Baroque ceiling painting as a field of research became largely attached to the Department of Art History at the IHB. As a central medium of hegemonial representation in both the profane and the sacred spheres, it is of great importance for various ongoing projects at the department, such as representation of rulers under Maria Theresa or representations of rulers in the cities.
The “Research Group” hosts joint conferences and symposia and publishes research findings. It is conceived as a network for constant scholarly exchange with the aim of bringing together various methodological aspects to further knowledge on extant monuments.
The next conference, entitled “Celestial Messages in Bourgeois Worlds: Baroque Ceiling Paintings in Burgher Houses” will take place in Augsburg from 14 to 15 May 2020, hosted by the Department of History of Art of the University of Augsburg (Prof. Dr. Andrea Gottdang and Dr. Angelika Dreyer) in cooperation with the Städtische Kunstsammlungen Augsburg (Dr. Christof Trepesch).