Photograph: Pavel Čech,  © Moravská galerie v Brně © Národní památkový ústav v Brně © National Institute of cultural heritage © Národní památkový ústav v Brně © Moravská galerie v Brně © Moravská galerie v Brně © Moravská galerie v Brně © Moravská galerie v Brně


Name of Monument:

Minorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno

Location:

Brno, Moravia, Czech Republic

Contact DetailsMinorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno
Central Brno, Minoritská Street 1
T : + 00 42 0 542 215 600
E : brno@minorite.cz
Minorite order, Brno (Responsible Institution)

Date:

1239; 1256; 1722; 1725; 1729–1733; 1760

Artists:

Mořic Grimm (1669 Achdorf – 1757 Brno), Anton Johann Ospel, Jan Christian Pröbstl, Jan Jiří Schauberger (? before 1725 Vienna, active in Olomouc – 1744 Brno), Jan Scherz, Anton Schweigl (1700 Gaiming in Tirol – 1761 Brno), Jan Jiří Etgens (1691–1757, Brno), František Řehoř Ignác Eckstein (1689? Židovice u Žatce – 1741 Lviv), Josef Stern (1716 Graz – 1775 Brno), Felix Ivo Leicher (1727 Bílovec – 1812 Vienna), Josef Ignác Havelka (1716 Ústí nad Orlicí – 1788 Brno), František Vavřinec Korompay (1723 Rohatec u Strážnice – 1779 Brno), Antonín Richter, Michele Fontana, Michael Ignác Gunst

Denomination / Type of monument:

Religious – Monastery

Patron(s):

Minorite order

History:

During the Baroque-period reconstruction of the medieval monastery, rebuilt in the 16th century, the Loreto Chapel was added and the frontages were unified. The church was provided with a new roof.

Description:

The vast monastery complex adjoined the town walls. A three-axis, concave frontage features statues of the patron saints of the church, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist (by J. K. Pröbstl and J. J. Schauberger), the Madonna and, over the ledge, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua. The statues of St. Thaddeus Jude and St. Dismas are by J. L. Weber. The high altar of the single-nave church is the re-modelled mausoleum of Jan Šembera of Boskovice and Bucovice, who is buried here and whose death marked the end of the male line of a famous Moravian family. The altarpieces are by artists from the Vienna Academy: J. Stern, who settled in Brno, and F. I. Leicher (c. 1760). The uniformly furnished interior is complemented by an original organ (1732).

View Short Description

The vault of this single-nave building opens onto a celestial sphere with a monumental fresco. The illusionary architecture graduates into genuine pilasters and stucco decoration. The altarpieces, by artists from the Vienna Academy, provided for the people of Brno their first encounter with a new painting style that drew on Dutch and Flemish art of the 17th century. The uniformly furnished interior is complemented by an original organ (1732). The monastery library is among the best preserved in the Czech lands. The church highlights include the mystical Loreto Chapel with its Holy Stairs.

How Monument was dated:

The ceiling painting in the church nave is dated 1733 in a chronogram. The chapel fresco is dated 1725 in a cartouche, and this is supported by evidence in the accounts. The chapel was consecrated in 1726; receipts have also survived for building work in the library.

Special features

Minorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno

Minorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno

1733

Jan Jiří Etgens (1691–1757, Brno)

The vault of the single-nave building opens onto a celestial sphere with a monumental fresco and scenes from the lives of the Saints John and Loreto. The illusionary architecture graduates into genuine pilasters and stucco decoration. The main section depicts the Birth of St. John the Baptist, while the presbytery vault, separated by a “triumphal arch”, features the signs in the sky described in the Revelation of St. John.

Altar of the Holy Cross

Minorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno

c. 1730

Jan Jiří Schauberger (? before 1725 Vienna, active in Olomouc – 1744 Brno)

The stucco decoration of the altars and the pulpit was created by a prominent Brno artist, previously active in Olomouc. The way in which the artist approaches the spiritual movement of the figures, the non-dramatic gestures, the soft relief shapes and the spatial concept of the sculpture, enhance the effect of an epic scene. The sculptor’s oeuvre includes many altarpieces in Brno and its surroundings, typified by a spectacular form derived from Italian (Bernini) and Viennese (Donner) sculpture. The artist’s stucco work was particularly influenced by B. Fontana.

Eternal light

Minorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno

1738

Petr Pavel Felix

Reliefs in gilded copper represent St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, St. Francis of Assisi, and others. The lamp’s summit consists of the Holy Trinity and the Virgin Immaculata, patron saint of the Minorites. The eternal light is usually hung in front of the high altar as a symbol of the Lord’s presence.

Library

Minorite monastery

1721

Johann Fertl (? – 1742), Anton Schweigl

The entrance to the library, with a ceiling-painting of the 12-year-old Jesus in the temple disputing with the elders (the first example of Jesus’ preaching), opens with Prudence and Knowledge; Wisdom is painted on the door. The library, with its well-preserved furniture, is among the most significant Baroque libraries in Czech lands.

Holy Stairs

Minorite Church of the Saints John and Loreto

1722–1726

Mořic Grimm (1669 Achdorf – 1757 Brno), Anton Johann Ospel

A three-shouldered staircase is the conceptual climax of the Loreto Chapel. Praying on their knees, worshippers ascend to an Ecce Homo group, stopping at the symbols of Christ’s suffering. The 28 steps recall the stairs climbed by Christ in the Palace of Jerusalem after his condemnation by Pontius Pilate. The entrance portal of the Loreto stable is guarded by a pair of angels, and a relief of the Transfer of Santa Casa (Holy House) with the Virgin Mary at the centre, surrounded by the patron saints of the church. The vaults of the gallery around the Holy House and above the stairs, placed in front of the presbytery, were painted by F. Ř. I. Eckstein, and feature scenes from the Life of the Virgin Mary. They are framed by illusionary architecture graduating into grisaille paintings, also covering the Holy House. The chapel contains a number of pictures by Brno artists, among whom, J. I. Havelka, who created a great number of paintings for the Minorite order and probably lived in the monastery.

Selected bibliography:

Bohumil Samek, Umělecké památky Moravy a Slezska I, A-J, Prague, 1994, pp. 175–183.
Jan Bukovský, Loretánské kaple v Čechách a na Moravě, Prague, 2000, pp. 97–102.
Michaela Šeferisová Loudová, Barockbibliotheken in Mähren, in Martin Mádl – Michaela Šeferisová Loudová – Zora Wörgötter (eds), Baroque ceiling painting in Central Europe/ Barocke Deckenmalaerei in Mitteleuropa, Prague, 2007, pp. 59–60.

Additional Copyright Information:

Copyright images "Národní památkový ústav v Brně": Národní památkový ústav – územní odborné pracoviště v Brně.

Citation of this web page:

Zora Wörgötter "Minorite Church of Saints John and Loreto, Brno" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2016. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;BAR;cz;Mon11_F;23;en

Prepared by: Zora WörgötterZora Wörgötter

SURNAME: Wörgötter
NAME: Zora

AFFILIATION: Moravian Gallery in Brno

TITLE: Museum Curator and Local Co-ordinator

CV:
Zora Wörgötter studied Applied Painting at the Secondary School of Applied Arts, Video Art (Faculty of Fine Arts) at the University of Technology in Brno and Art History and Ethnology (Faculty of Arts) at Masaryk University, Brno. She has worked at the Moravian Gallery since 1997 and was curator of the Ancient Art Collection up until 2008. Specialising in Dutch and Central European painting of the 17th and 18th centuries, she has participated in the preparation of several exhibitions, catalogues and research projects in the Czech Republic and abroad, and published in the Moravian Gallery Bulletin, Opuscula historiae artium, and other journals. She is co-ordinator of the Art History Database www.ahice.net for the Czech Republic.

Copyedited by: Jiří KroupaJiří Kroupa

SURNAME: Kroupa
NAME: Jiří

AFFILIATION: Department of the History of Art (Faculty of Arts) Masaryk
University, Brno

TITLE: Professor

CV:
Professor Jiří Kroupa studied Art History, History and Sociology Masaryk University, Brno. He was a curator at the Kroměříž Museum and the Moravian Gallery in Brno before joining the staff at Masaryk University in 1988 (Head of the Department 1992–2002; Professor 1999 to present). His particular fields of interest are in the history of architecture, 18th-century cultural history and the methodology of art history. His long list of publications includes an edition on the architect Franz Anton Grimm and an essay “The alchemy of happiness: the Enlightenment in the Moravian context”. He was contributing editor for the volume Dans le miroir des ombres. Moravie a la age baroque. 1670–1790 (2002).

Translation by: Irma Charvátová
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: CZ 23

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