Pahor AHAS 10angl


Graphic sources for several elements in the 17th-century architecture of Gorenjsko (Slovenia)

A direct impact of Renaissance reproductive prints on architectural elements can only be observed deep in the 16th century. The earliest good quality illustrations of an architectural treatise were printed as late as 1521 in Como for Vitruvius' Ten Books on Architecture. The earliest reprint north of the Alps was published by Walther Rivius (Ryff) in 1543, followed five years later by a German translation. Both books were mainly illustrated with copies of the prints from the "Como Vitruvius". Strong influences of this work can be traced in the prints by Wendel Dieterlin and particularly in the oeuvre of Hans Vredeman de Vries, who also adapted the decoration to be used in wooden products. De Vries in turn influenced Gabriel Krammer among others, who designed two series of models for wooden ornaments and inlaid work. The two series were based on the forms of classical orders. De Vries' son Paul carried on his father's tradition as late as the first decades of the 17th century and published numerous series of prints that were almost unaltered in style.

The impacts of the works by Gabriel Krammer and Paul Vredeman de Vries can also be traced in Gorenjsko. In 1639 a new town-hall was built in Kranj and the building still demonstrated a mixture of Renaissance and traditional Gothic elements. On the first floor, the orignal wooden coffered ceiling and two good quality Renaissance wooden doors survive in one of the rooms. Some of the capitals with grotesques are modelled directly on the examples from the work Architectura von den fünf Säulen sambt ihren Ornamenten und Zierden by Gabriel Krammer (1600), whereas the inlaid work resembles the examples in his second work Schweiff Buchlein: Mancherley Schweiff Laubwerck, Rollwerck, perspectif, und sonderliche gezierden zu vieler handarbeit, auff dis vorgehende Architecturbuchlein gerichtet (1602). After a print by Paul Vredeman de Vries, published in the Verscheyden Schrynweck Als Portalen, Kleerkassen, Buffettenm Ledikanten, Tafels … (1630) and intended for wooden products, two portals were carved in stone, one in the succursal church of St. Lucy in the village of Zadnja vas (1663) and another in the succursal church of the Holy Virgin in the village of Bitnje in Bohinj area (1673). With great certainty they can be attributed to one and the same workshop, and in both cases Gothic and more modern Baroque elements are combined.

The wooden doors in Kranj and the two later stone portals differ greatly particularly in the way of execution, in spite of their closely related starting point. The master who made the Kranj doors must have come from a place in Central Europe, and while relying on individual model elements, he was capable of composing a good quality work of his own. On the other hand, the masonry workshop that operated a few decades later was most probably of local origin and its masters just imitated the given model without really understanding the basic proportions and the meaning of individual ornaments.