Painted scene and feigned architecture in the ceiling paintings of the late-Baroque

  • János Jernyei Kiss


In the workshop practice of the Baroque ceiling painters, when executing large mural compositions, the architectural details were painted by specialists. However, we cannot consider it as a simple trimming independent from figural frescoes; it is not just a required contribution but a dominant element of the composition also from the artistic point of view.
This paper illustrates the complex role of architecture-painting through the analysis of the frescoes of Maulbertsch, Kracker and Winterhalder. It shows that the former decorative painting of the cathedral in Vác worked as a tool for accomplishing an architectural concept. The study revealed that in the case of the ceiling painting belonging to the Lyceum of Eger, the reason for choosing a Gothic structure was the specific perspective problem that arose from applying a central focus in the ceiling decoration of the synod meeting room, which is a closed, rectangular interior.
It discusses the representation problems of the painted scenes when arranged in a ‘board-painting’ way (Székesfehérvár, Carmelite Church), and by analysing the different versions (Pápa, Parish Church; Szombathely, Cathedral) it sketches the typical stages of the late-Baroque metamorphosis of the feigned dome in Pozzo.
Keywords: Baroque ceiling painting, feigned architecture, illusionism, perspective
Published online
How to Cite
Jernyei Kiss, J. (2014) “Painted scene and feigned architecture in the ceiling paintings of the late-Baroque”, Periodica Polytechnica Architecture, 45(1), pp. 1-8.