Lerhinger's frescoes are a continuation of Baroque wall painting in the Štajerska region of Slovenia, initiated by the wall and ceiling paintings at Brežice Castle (Frančišek Karel Remb), Dornava Manor (Johann Caspar Waginger) and Slovenska Bistrica (Franz Ignaz Flurer), or in the churches of Zagorje near Podčetrtek (Matthias von Görz) and Slake near Podčetrtek (Waginger). In recent years, traces of other masters’ handiwork have been noted alongside his wall and ceiling paintings in Croatia, which mark the coming to an end of Renger’s and Lerhinger’s tradition approaching the Late Baroque and Classicism.
His fresco oeuvre is characterised by diversity and ornamentation. His breadth in forming the figure is astonishing. In his early works, robust figures become more delicate and charming, whereas the figures of his later works, in their model proportions and translucently coloured clothing, become extremely spiritualised. He serves to illusionism in his deft application of a decorative lining to real architecture, which he opens up towards the heavens in a thought-through rhythm, setting in celestial protagonists. Alongside the Virgin Mary, the Holy Trinity, the Evangelists, the Fathers of the Church and saintly glorifications, the muscular large-winged angels clad in floating clothing of rich coloured combinations, in which the daring reflections of celestial light play catch, make for a strong medium in his heavenly illusions. His putti are a recognisable feature of his work, which he uses ingeniously to fill up his compositions.
In adornment, he has developed a distinct personal Rococo language. He is playful and pliable in forming his depicted stucco Rocaille imitations, which he uses to densely line vaults. He places flowers between or inside, a permanent decorative element from his earliest to last works. In that instance, his church interiors are visually changed into blossoming summerhouses, or he fills them up in a strip cartoon fashion with a series of images in rich frames hanging from a wall. His frescoes represent a regional variation of Central European Rococo.
He was a trained, not academy educated painter with a cheery energy for life and a lively and flexible imagination. Along with Valentin Metzinger, Franc Jelovšek, Fortunat Bergant and Anton Cebej, he is the fifth link among the greats in the ever increasing constellation of 18th century painting in Slovenia.
Dr. Anica Cevc
Exhibition and print design
Peter Bratuša, Felina Films
The works of art were loaned by
Malečnik pri Mariboru Parish Office
Rogaška Slatina Parish Office
Rogatec Parish Office
Žalec Parish Office
The works of art were restored by
Tina Buh, Andrej Hirci, Martina Vuga
The exhibition was supported by
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
Sponsors of the exhibition
Bratje Bulc, d.o.o
4 April–10 June 2007
National Gallery of Slovenia