August 30, 2010

Fixing the Fresco

While visiting my brother living near Vienna a few years ago, we explored one of the more important - and in my view impressive, in a city full of impressive - landmarks: the Karlskirche (St. Charles’ Church). This eclectic baroque white church with Trojan column replicas was built by Emperor Karl VI between 1715 and 1737 to honor the patron saint Karl (Charles/Carlo) Borromeo in thanks for deliverance from the plague of 1713.

Vienna, 2006

The grandiose verdigris green cupola is 72 meter (236 ft) high and contains 1,256 square meters (13,520 ft²) of fresco by Johann Michael Rottmayr (pardon the wire).


The interior of the church had a soft and warm inviting glow.


Many cupids in this church.


It just so happened that the fresco in the dome was being restored, a fairly large undertaking, but rather than keep visitors out, they were well accommodated. There were stairs one could climb, but this time we wimped out and took the elevator up.


Had this not been a Sunday, we might have seen the restoration in process. It was a joy to get up close to the magnificent fresco.


We walked down.


This was certainly a very mellow way to spend a few hours and there's much yellow here to enjoy, and so I post this for Mellow Yellow Monday. Click the link for many more links to takes on the YELLOW theme.

19 comments:

Anita Johnson said...

I just love visiting your blog and seeing what you see. The painting must have been beautiful to see in real life! Great pictures!

Annie said...

This just takes my breath away. I just finished watching the 8-part series of Pillars of the Earth. Seeing this after watching that is just completely sublime.

cieldequimper said...

Gorgeous. I lived in Vienna for 4 years but cannot remember it. Then again, I was 7 years old when we left and I have more memories of a big toy shop near Stephansdom and of the school than anywhere else. When I returned to Vienna for a very short weekend a few years ago, I didn't have time to go.

Lesley said...

Oh my, this is truly amazing!
I was almost overwhelmed by the sight of all those stairs - but they had an elevator!?
Great shots of the details of the frescoes.

Francisca said...

@Ciel - I haven't spent a lot of time in the city either, and a few days are just not enough to take it all in, n'est-ce pas?

@Lesley - you can see the small elevator if you enlarge the photo with the scaffolding; it's on the right side of the stairs.

Julie said...

It is awe-inspiring, I agree. When I toured central Italy (Assisi, Siena, Florence) I was overwhelmed with the age, the beauty and the artistry of the frescos, Here the height is a factor too. Just looking at all those cantilevered stairs going up up up ... so glad there was an elevator!

Good post for the meme.

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous! The Frescoes are beautiful as is the interior of the church.

jennyfreckles said...

The exterior rather looks as if it can't decide whether it's a church or a mosque! But the inside is stunning - those frescoes are so beautiful, especially seen close up.

Kaori said...

Stunning photos! How lucky you were to see this all upclose! The whole interior of this church is breathtaking...but I would probably take the elevator, too :D

Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful photos, Francisca. I'm glad there was an elevator. Did you really consider climbing those stairs the restorers use? The thought makes my stomach lurch. I agree with Julie.
But a beautiful post for Mellow Yellow Monday. Thank you for sharing it with us.
K

VP said...

Very interesting reportage, I remember quite well this church.

Jacob said...

With all those columns it appears more like a huge government building...

I'm always amazed at the sculptures and the art work one finds in these churches.

Very beautiful.

Do you think the deity ... do you think she is pleased?

Hels said...

Great photos! I love the outside of Karlskirche and although I have seen many early 18th century churches before, there is something magical about thanking God for stopping one hideously destructive plague or another.

The outside is beautifully designed, elegantly executed and has simple colours. Alas the internal decoration is way over the top.

J Bar said...

Such beautiful artwork.

tapirgal said...

There is nothing like Baroque to lift you up, up, up! I love it! Have never seen this church, and enjoyed it completely.

Evelyn said...

Lovely - not many people paint like that anymore.

JM said...

Imposing and beautiful building. Great coverage of the fresco restoration, fantastic shots!

Linnea W said...

Amazing how they can paint with such detailing! I'm glad they're restoring the place! Thanks for stopping by at my MYM.

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