The late baroque sculptor Josef Straub (1712–1756) is considered one of the leading exponents of the baroque in Slovenia. His works are most widely found in the present-day Štajerska region (the lower part of the old Austrian duchy of Styria) but are also present in the
Vipava Valley and outside the borders of present-day Slovenia – in Austrian Styria (Ehrenhausen), Italy (Gorizia), Hungary (Nagykanizsa) and Croatia (Čakovec, Taborsko, Varaždin, Zlatar).
Josef and his four brothers Johann Baptist (1704–1784), Philipp Jakob (1706–1774), Johann Georg the Younger (1721–1773) and Franz Anton (1726–c. 1774/76) were born – the fruit of two marriages – to the joiner and sculptor Johann Georg Straub the Elder (1674–1755) in the little town of Wiesensteig in southern Germany and enjoyed enviable careers as sculptors. Josef received his first artistic training alongside his brothers in his father’s workshop in Wiesensteig. He is then thought to have followed his brother Philipp Jakob to Graz. The year 1736 found him working in Ljubljana in the workshop of the established sculptor Heinrich Michael Löhr. We later find him in the Vipava area. In 1743 he received, perhaps via his brother’s workshop in Graz, a prestigious commission from the Maribor town council to sculpt a Plague Column. His finest works include sculptural decoration on (unpreserved) altars in the Studenci district of Maribor (today held by Maribor Regional Museum) and the church of the Minorites in Ptuj.