The Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, art mainly served the glorification of God and the idea of a better life in the afterworld. Numerous panels, statues and stained-glass paintings evoke a radiating world beyond, free of fear and misery.Art also served the personal salvation of the soul.
By means of generous donations, those who commissioned a work of art wished to secure their place in heaven, and all posthumous fame is owed to them. The artist was mostly an anonymous craftsman.

In the regions of the Danube resp. the Alps, a monastic culture with deep roots arises, radiating from the great ecclesiastical centres and landowners as the bishoprics of Passau (Lower Bavaria), Freising (Upper Bavaria) and particularly Salzburg. In Carinthia and Styria, also great monasteries as Gurk (Carinthia), Admont, Seckau, and St. Lambrecht (all Upper Styria) are dominating economic and cultural life up to the era of radical reforms under Emperor Joseph II.


Due to their European connections,the leading abbeys got into contact with international Gothic taste as the unique "Admont Virgin" my prove. Though Romanesque austerity held its place for many decennia, impressively represented by the basilica of Seckau. In the later Middle Ages, throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, particularly stained glass production, panel painting ansd wood sculpture flourished in Styria as it can be seen in the collection. The "votive panel from St. Lambrecht" counts among the most important paintings of international Gothic style in Europe. From the 16th century onwards, Renaissance influence became more and more obvious.

Alte Galerie, Schloss Eggenberg

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