Photograph: Veronika Skálová
© Moravská galerie v Brně

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Name of Monument:
Carthusian Monastery and the Church of The Holy Trinity, Brno-Královo Pole
Also known as:
Brno, Moravia, Czech Republic
1375; 1760–1777
Denomination / Type of monument:
Religious – Monastery
Ondřej Schweigl (1735–1812, Brno), Franz Anton Maulbertsch (1724 Langenargen am Bodensee – 1796 Vienna), Felix Ivo Leicher (1727 Bílovec – 1812 Vienna), Josef Stern (1716 Graz – 1775 Brno), Martin Johann Schmidt (Kremser-Schmidt), Bartolomeus Zindtner, Mořic Grimm (1669 Achdorf – 1757 Brno), Giacomo Antonio Corbellini
Jan Jindřich of Luxembourg (d. 1375), Prokop of Luxembourg (d. 1405) Jošt of Luxembourg (d. 1411); Carthusian order, Athanasius Gottfried (1738 Polná – 1814 Brno)
The monastery was founded by Moravian margrave, Jan Jindřich, brother of the Czech King and Emperor Charles IV. The monastery, situated outside the town walls, suffered damage in several successive wars. It acquired its present appearance through a Baroque reconstruction of the whole complex following a number of minor repairs. Leading artists from the Vienna Academy participated in the reconstruction. Abbot A. Gottfried was a renowned art collector and exponent of the Enlightenment in Brno. The monastery was dissolved in 1782 as part of the religious reforms undertaken by Joseph II and was among many others that “[did] not support schools or hospitals, and whose members [did] not hold positions as preachers or priests”. The monastery was commissioned for military purposes and rebuilt, in particular in 1871–1877. Soldiers used the premises until the end of 1963 when the monastery was taken over by the Technical University of Brno.
The Carthusian order was dedicated to asceticism and contemplation. The frontage of the single-nave building with statues of St. John the Baptist, Patron Saint of the Carthusians, St. Bruno, founder of the order, a sculpture of the Holy Trinity and the shield with CT (Cella Trinitatis), the symbol of the monastery, are by O. Schweigl. The nave and two side chapels have preserved their original Gothic appearance. The gallery pews, from the early 17th century, are among the most precious in Moravia. The sculpted decoration of the altars was created by O. Schweigl (1763); the high altar features St. John the Baptist and St. Bruno. The altarpiece holds a replica of the sketch by J. Stern, The Celebration of the Holy Trinity. The entrance door to the church is secured by a richly ornamented rococo grid.
As instrumental music was excluded from Carthusian masses Gregorian chant was a characteristic part of the service. A gallery was added later in 1903. In the middle of a large cloister is a refectory with stucco decoration by G. A. Corbellini. There was once a library on the first floor.
View Short Description
How Monument was dated:
The picture by Kremser-Schmidt is signed and dated. The decoration of the church is determined by the office of Abbot A. Gottfried.


Special features

View of the Monastery


Martin Aretius

The picture shows the monastery and church on the outskirts of Brno, and a village green with the small Church of St. Vitus restored after the ravages of the Swedish campaign. The church is adjoined by cells where one church father lived in each. Outside the cells were gardens demarcated by a two-storey-high wall that made the communication between neighbouring monks impossible (part of their asceticism), and thus guaranteed absolute privacy. The cells contained a room for sleeping, studying and praying and a workshop. These areas were connected by a cloister that closed off the courtyard of reclusion.
Revelation: Joshua and Angel

1769; 1772

Franz Anton Maulbertsch (1724 Langenargen am Bodensee – 1796 Vienna)

The left-hand chapel was once a sacristy for the Carthusian priests. The altarpiece, worshipped by gilded angels by O. Schweigl, represents Archangel Michael (M. J. Schmidt). The marble slab in the floor covers the tomb of Moravian Margrave of the Prokop (district) of Luxembourg. The interior is adorned with frescos featuring revelations – angels as God's messengers in scenes from both the Old and New Testaments – such as dreams, revelations and annunciations.
Chapel of the Annunciation


Franz Anton Maulbertsch (1724 Langenargen am Bodensee – 1796 Vienna)

Only fragments of the original paintings in the Chapter Hall survive. The subjects involve the Life of the Order (allegories of the Church, Taciturnity and Saints Bruno and Jerome), the Monastery and Czech History (Margrave Jan Jindrich, founder of the monastery; St. John of Nepomuk and Queen Žofie; St. Wenceslas), Exempla and Visions.
St. Barbara


Felix Ivo Leicher (1727 Bílovec – 1812 Vienna), Ondřej Schweigl (1735–1812, Brno)

Side altars dedicated to Saints Barbara and Tecla, Apollonia and Catherine feature paintings by F. I. Leicher, Maulbertsch’s associate, and statues of the saints by O. Schweigl.
Cycle of the Apostles


Josef Stern (1716 Graz – 1775 Brno)

In a host of Apostles on a side wall of the nave, the image of Judas is replaced with St. Paul.
  Selected bibliography:
Bohumil Samek, Umělecké památky Moravy a Slezska I, A-J, Prague, 1994, pp. 230–233.
Ivo Krsek –­­ Zdeněk Kudělka (ed) –­­ Miloš Stehlík –­­ Josef Válka, Umění baroka na Moravě a ve Slezsku, Prague, 1996
Thomas Dacosta Kaufmann, Painterly Enlightenment. The Art of Franz Anton Maulbertsch, 1724–1796, North Carolina, 2005.
Lubomír Slavíček, Sibi arti amicics, Poznámky a materiálie k dějinám sběratelství v Brně 1780–1840, Opuscula Historiae Artium, F 42, 1998, pp. 73–88.
Jiří Kroupa, Franz Anton Maulbertsch: Aufklärung, Auftraggeber und Mentalitäten in Mähren, in Eduard Hindelang – Lubomír Slavíček  (eds), Franz Anton Maulbertsch und Mitteleuropa. Beiträge zum 30-jährigen Bestehen des Museums Langenargen, Langenargen–Brno, 2007, pp. 23–44.
Citation of this web page:
Zora Wörgötter "Carthusian Monastery and the Church of The Holy Trinity, Brno-Královo Pole" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2016.;BAR;cz;Mon11_F;26;en
Prepared by: Zora Wörgötter
Copyedited by: Jiří Kroupa
Translation by: Irma Charvátová
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: CZ 26