Serazin AHAS 3angl


Kristof Laurenz von Flachenfeld as patron of two altars painted by Franc Jelovšek

The paper deals with the question of the patronage and dating of two frescoed altars which are attributed to Franc Jelovšek (1700–1764), one of the four prominent Slovene painters of the 18th century.

The fresco in St. Notburga's chapel in the parish church of St. Matthew at Slap by Vipava  functions as a frame to the altarpiece featuring the chapel's patron saint and painted in oil by Valentin Metzinger (1699–1759). The hitherto literature has dated the fresco into the year 1754. A document survives, however, which proves that the chapel had been erected by 1744 and was plausibly frescoed already around 1747. In this year count Franz Bernhard von Lamberg, who had introduced the cult of St. Notburga in Carniola after 1735, presented the church at Slap with a reliquary containing a relic of this saint. Stylistic comparison of the fresco with Jelovšek's murals of 1744 in the sanctuary of the cemetery church of St. Stephen at Štepanja vas by Ljubljana corroborates the dating of his Slap work into the mid-forties of the 18th century. The patrons of the fresco in the chapel are indicated by two coats of arms included into the painted altar. The left one belongs to Kristof Laurenz von Flachenfeld (1700–1762), the right one to his wife, Maria Anna Theresa, né e von Wintershoffen. In addition to the arms, the patronage is further indicated by two saints who are seated on the volutes of the altar: St. Laurence above the Flachenfeld arms, and St. Theresa of Avila above the Wintershoffen arms. The two saints painted on the bases of the frescoed altar and flanking the altarpiece have also been identified: the left one represents St. Donatus, on the right stands St. Eurosia, two protectors against thunderbolt and storm.

In addition to his estate at Slap by Vipava, Kristof Laurenz von Flachenfeld also owned the manor of Podvelb (Unter dem Gewelb) at Col above Vipava, and the manor of Ajmanov grad (Ehrenau) by the village of Sveti Duh near Škofja Loka. He had a chapel of the Holy Virgin built in the latter manor; it was consecrated in 1733. He had commissioned Franc Jelovšek to decorate its altar wall with a mural a few years prior to his agreement with the painter to paint a fresco in St. Notburga's chapel. Considering the correspondence of the coats of arms in both chapels, it is possible to come to a more precise dating of the fresco in Ajmanov grad manor. In 1739 the title of a baron was bestowed on Kristof Laurenz for several of his merits; consequently he received a new coat of arms composed of the Flachenfeld and Lampfritzhaimb arms. This year can be considered the earliest possible date, while the latest is defined by the year of the baron's selling of the manor to Adam Dinzl Angerburg, i. e. 1746. The design of the painted altar is reminiscent of the one at Slap, only the saints flanking the altarpiece – a miraculous image of the Virgin – are different: St. John Nepomuk on the left and St. Francis Xavier on the right.

The paper also opens the question of the nature of connections between the two patrons, who commissioned the above mentioned frescoes in the chapels, and the painter: a registry of births documents that Kristof Laurenz von Flachenfeld and his wife Maria Anna Theresa acted as godparents to Jelovšek's son Kristof Andreas in 1729, in which time the painter was only starting to gain recognition.