Turn of an era

On the eve of the Enlightenment

The period of Emperor Joseph II (ruled 1780–1790) is the time of the Enlightenment and tolerance. The Catholic church remains the formative religious force but it loses its monopoly; numerous monasteries are abolished. Protestants receive, albeit restricted, their freedom of belief. The need for altarpieces remains high. Satisfying it is Martin Johann Schmidt, known as “the Kremser Schmidt”. He leaves behind an extensive, multifaceted body of work which deals with spiritual and worldly matters.


Leading models are the great masters like Rubens and Rembrandt. A new fashion emerges: “Rembrandtisation”, as practised by Johann Georg Edlinger from Graz throughout his life. Angelika Kauffmann, who becomes a painter star in London, takes van Dyck’s art as her model: The Vandyke manner. In Vienna, Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder develops a new portrait style: The Habsburg court, too, now appreciates naturalness and grace. Courtly representation combines with bourgeois sentimentality. The change in taste heralds a new era.


Alte Galerie, Schloss Eggenberg

Eggenberger Allee 90
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9560


Opening Hours

1 November to 17 December only with guided tour by prior appointment
April to October Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am-6pm 

Opening Hours Library
Tues–Fri 10am–12pm and afternoons by appointment only


10th April 2023
1st May 2023
29th May 2023