Obere Pfarre, Bamberg: High Altar

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 29 January 2010 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

Donated by prince-bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn St. Mary's (the real name of this church) High Altar was inaugurated in 1714. Probably the High Altar of Martin was the inspiration for this one; its designer was Carmelite brother Leopoldus. 'Project leader' was the carpenter at court Andreas Bauer, the sculptures were supervised by Johann Sebastian Degler. The marbling was done by Martin Walther, the gilding by Johann Joseph Scheubel. Maybe the sculptor Johann Georg Stöhr and the Götz brothers participated in the making of this altar, too. You see, a lot of artists were involved here.

Six pillars from marbled wood carry this 'silent homily of the Baroque'. In the upper God Father is enthroned, together with the Holy Spirit and baby Jesus in the arms of his mother. This pietà is a work from the Cologne school around 1250, first mentioned in Obere Pfarre in 1443/45.

Céline from New York City, United States

Great composition on this off-centered image !

29 Jan 2010 5:08am

@Céline: Thanks so much, Céline!

Peter from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Great shot! It almost looks like they squeezed the high alter in this space. Also the side altars with their toned-down pilasters makes it from afar one mighty piece.

29 Jan 2010 9:14am

@Peter: This High altar is indeed breathtaking, it's filling the whole room just by its presence.

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

<Silent homily of the Baroque>.......glorious, uplighting creation! I can say the eyes are climbing upwards in glory! The main altar is a piece of work worthy of a palace chapel...a little bit too rich, too decorative for a church.
In contrast, what I can see from the arcaded walls, looks very elegant with a touch of gold and the bas-reliefs
white on white.
Most striking!!!!!

29 Jan 2010 10:44am

@Japanalia: In my little, small-minded Catholic view of the world I would say that there can't be too much decoration in a church. I'm very glad churches like these were not only made for crowned heads! :-)

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

I like very much your photo (I don't understand the EXIF data). But I don't like enormously this piece of Baroque: it seems squeezed into a narrow space.

29 Jan 2010 10:52am

@António Pires: This was intended, Baroque and overabundance are synonymous here. :-)

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Another beautifully-ornate capture! It's hard to find a smooth surface in this composition. Great lighting and detail. The altar is reminiscent of the one at my college alma mater, including the statues between the six columns, although not quite as ornate.

29 Jan 2010 1:33pm

@Steven: I know spectacular designs like this one only from (big) churches in Rome; this was a welcome surprise.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Brilliant compo. Great details, one only can stare and admire !

29 Jan 2010 3:10pm

@MARIANA: You are welcome! :-)

Mohsen from Tehran, Iran

Very nice :)

29 Jan 2010 7:18pm

@Mohsen: Cheers, Mohsen!

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

so that's how to decorate a corner then!

29 Jan 2010 8:29pm

@Ted: Got some ideas for your home...?

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Lovely composed, so much details to look at !!

29 Jan 2010 9:03pm

@Evelyne Dubos: My pleasure! :-)

tubby from Singapore, Singapore

wow this is so magnificent.... great composition, colors & details

29 Jan 2010 11:47pm

@tubby: Thanks a lot, tubby!

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

Your pictures of churches are really good. Looking at them makes me think about what I like when I visit a church... Here I find the altar has too many statues and decorations but for the artists number and complexity were may be synonym of georgeous.

30 Jan 2010 1:05am

@akarui: Of course this church was also a visiting card of its abbey and donators. :)

Michael from Shell Village, United Kingdom

A lovely interior, but strange to see it built at an angle.

30 Jan 2010 2:06am

@Michael: It's a symmetric composition: left and right from the main altar an altar is located respectively, many niches have their own altars, and the choir is a round tour also filled with many altars.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States


31 Jan 2010 8:23pm

@Twelvebit: ...you...


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