Repanic Braun AHAS 4angl

A contribution to the oeuvre of the painter Hans Georg Geigerfeld and his workshop
Hans Georg Geigerfeld († 1681), a painter whose works survive mainly in Slovenia, was also active in north-western Croatia, where his own and his workshop's output represents an important contribution to the Baroque painting of the 17th century. In the years between 1659 and his death, which prevented him from completing his last commission received from the Jesuits in Zagreb (i. e. the two paintings for St. Ignatius' altar in St. Catherine's church), his painting and gilding workshop continuously and fruitfully collaborated with the Jesuits and the Franciscans. The results of this collaboration were the altarpieces in the Jesuit church in Zagreb and the paintings in the Franciscan monastery and church of the Annunciation at Klanjac. The painting of St. Michael in the high altar of the cemetery chapel at Vugrovac – both, the painting and the altar came into being thanks to the Zagreb lector and canon, Pavao Koos – and the votive picture of the parish priest Kobbe, The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, now in the collection of the Department of Medical Science History at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, testify to Geigerfeld's activity also outside the circles of religious orders.
This oeuvre can further be extended to two panels, representing the Nativity and Circumcision, on the wings of the neo-Gothic altar in the sacristy of Zagreb Cathedral. The central part of the altar is composed of three late-Gothic panels, the Crucifixion, Christ Carrying the Cross and Resurrection, while the panels on the exterior of the wings demonstrate – despite later overpaintings and the patina which considerably alters the original colouring – that their origin is to be sought in Geigerfeld's workshop. Although the panels are smaller in size, their typological, morphological and formal likeness to the painter's repretoire is evident. The deep shadows of folds that furrow the draperies, the graphisms of details, and the smooth tactile forms of faces and naked parts of the bodies leave no doubt, nor do the colours although tuned to a prevalent warm palette – thus the painting can safely be attributed to Geigerfeld's brush. The two compositions are no doubt adapted quotations of graphic models; the small size of the panels and Geigerfeld's proverbially anti-classic filling of his formats conditioned the use of specific sections of the original.
The attribution of the paintings representing Sts. Leonard, Lucy and Anthony of Padua in the Franciscan monastery at Klanjac cannot be supported by archival sources, since a large part of the material there was destroyed in a fire of 1716, but their formal-stylistic characteristics point to their origin in the mannerist-baroque expression of the Slovene master and his assistants. The first, and the best, of Geigerfeld's paintings for the church of the Annunciation at Klanjac is the altarpiece St. Anthony of Padua with the Christ Child. It was commissioned by the mayor Emerik Erdödy for the new altar in St. Anthony's chapel in 1664 when, after permission from Pope Alexander VII, he established the St. Anthony Confraternity. The same formal and morphological characteristics as demonstrated in the works originating from Geigerfeld's workshop (particularly the paintings of St. Apolonia on a side altar in St. Catherine's church, Zagreb, and St. Valentine on a Klanjac votive picture of 1657) can also be seen on the painting of St. Claire in the altar of the right-hand side chapel in the Franciscan church of St. John the Baptist at Varaždin. There had been an altar of St. Claire in the chapel since the church was erected in 1657, but it was destroyed, together with the rest of the church fittings, in a fire of 1665; the church was furnished anew only after the twenty-year reconstruction of the building itself.
Most of Geigerfeld's works were executed after reproductive prints. For example, the Holy Family from Goriča vas near Ribnica, Slovenia, is modelled on Jan Sadeler's print Rest on the Flight into Egypt from the end of the 16th century to which a print by Lodovico Carracci, The Virgin Nursing the Child, of 1592 is related through identical posture of Mary's figure. Serving as a model for Geifgerfeld's altarpiece of the Archangel Michael was a variant of the graphic reproduction of the sculpture St. Michael Fighting Lucifer, carved in 1588 by Hubert Gerhard for the façade of the Munich Jesuit church of St. Michael. Following its first graphic representation by Peter Candid (Dresden), Lucas Kilian made a copperplate between 1588 and 1597 (Dresden). The postures of the saint and the angel bringing him a laurel wreath and a palm frond on the votive picture The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, commissioned in 1679 by the Brdovec parish priest, Ioannes Kobbe, are literally copied from a print of Jacob Matham (Haarlem 1571–1631). The central part of the composition of the St. Barbara altarpiece in the church of St. Catherine, Zagreb, is modelled on an example which is close to the representation of the same saint by the Venetian painter Palma il Vecchio (Venice, S.ta Maria Formosa), while the painting of St. Apolonia in the same church is a variation of the figure of St. Barbara on the painting The Triumph of the Holy Women Martyrs by the painter Giovanni Battista Fiammeri (1544–after 1617).