Monday, February 04, 2008

re: Heiligenkreuz Chapel of the Dead

I would like to expand a bit on the Chapel of the Dead at Heiligenkreuz, on which Shawn posted below. I visited Heiligenkreuz last September.

The chapel is so small, because originally it was the parlatorium, the only room where the monks were allowed to talk. When the rule was relaxed in the early 18th century, the room was not needed anymore and transformed into the chapel we see today, which is used precisely for this purpose: laying out the deceased monks of the abbey.

The artist was the Venetian Giovanni Giuliani (1663/64-1744), a student of Giuseppe Mazza in Bologna, who in worked in Vienna from 1690 onwards (most prominently at the palais Liechtenstein and the city palace of prince Eugene). In 1711 he became a familiar of Heiligenkreuz, to which he dedicated the rest of his work. His most famous student is Georg Raphael Donner.

Here is a view of the chapel as it normally looks (click to enlarge):

And this is a detail of one of the candelabra (click to enlarge):

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