Saint Catherine 2

Vojtech Klimkovič. Saint Catherine of Alexandria

1862
Canvas, oil painting, 120 x 72,5 cm
Signed at the right bottom corner: „Klimkovicz Béla 1862“
Restored in 2012 by the academic painter Anna Svetková

An altar painting, originally in the mansion chapel in Rollova Huta (today part of Margecany). Following the chapel demolition (1966) the painting was transferred to the Roman Catholic parish office in Margecany, where it was acquired from by purchase into the collections of the SNM-Spiš Museum in Levoča in 2011.
The painting shows a young female figure in a sky blue dress girded with a red fabric. The dress is supplemented by a gold accent on the turned up sleeve lining, the ornamental embroidery on the shoulders and around the tunic neck-line. She has a golden crown on her head with a fine veil hanging down her shoulders, all finished with a gentle halo. At her knees there is a sword and a timber wheel – attributes of her torture. She is holding a green palm branch in her hand. She is on her knees, looking upwards, towards heaven with resignation.

Saint Catherine

Story from a garage

The painting had been lying in a garage corner of the parish office in Margecany for a long time. First, there was no space for it in the local parish church and later it was so badly damaged that it would have been a shame to display it. There was no money for its restoration and so it was neglected and forgotten in the garage corner. Now and then, they would move it or cover it with old car tyres. Although they had been treating the painting piously, the person painted there was a saint after all, nevertheless, with the course of time it became so badly damaged, and the damage was getting bigger and bigger, that it was eventually difficult to read.
When a new parsonage was built in Margecany, the painting was transferred there in the hope that, one day, it may be restored and displayed, at least in the parsonage, if not in the church. Curators, clergymen and priests had been taking turns and the painting sank into the oblivion again. The first effort for its rescue came on the impetus of a sextoness in 2000. The museum offered to purchase the painting and include it into its collections. The parish council, however, was not showing any interest, they were still hoping to obtain the money for its restoration and display it in the church.
In 2010 the museum had, eventually, acquired the painting. Intensive communication had been going on between the parish office, the parish council on the one hand and the museum on the other one and, in the end, it was possible to purchase the painting and include it into museum collecions, restore and rescue it. This is the happy end of a story from a garage.

What was its condition prior to restoration?

The condition of the artwork prior to restoration was the state of emergency and the former altar painting was threatened with destruction. Nevertheless, it had been purchased into museum collections for its undoubtedly high artistic and historical value.
The painting was practically torn into several parts. In the museum restoration study it was examined and restored. Its original liturgical function had to be replaced with a museological one and today it is one of the most significant artworks of the 19th century to be found in the museum collections.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria

This Christian virgin and martyr is said to have lived at the turn of the 3rd and the 4th centuries in Alexandria. According to a legend, which had been known since the 10th century, she was a daughter of a Cypriot king who was living in exile in Alexandria. She abounded in beauty, wisdom and wealth. Around 307 she was executed by sword for having spread Christianity. Her remains are deposited in a convent on the Mount Sinai (Mount of Moses, in the Egyptian desert). Her attributes are a broken wheel, a sword, a palm, a lily, a crown on the head and a cross. She is venerated as a protectress of young girls, teachers, theologians, philosophers, solicitors, notaries, universities, libraries, hospitals, nurses, wheelers, millers, sailors, shoemakers. Her feast is on the 25th November.

Vedutas 2

Ludwig Rohbock – Johann Richter. A view of Levoča

1856 – 1860
venue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, steel engraving, size: (sheet) height 15,6 cm, width 23,5 cm, (printed area) height 11,3 cm, width 16,1 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the engraver) J. Richter sculpt.

The engraving shows Levoča from the South with its main architectural landmarks: the parish church of St. James, the old and the new Greyfriars Church and Convent, the town hall, the building of the barracks, fortifications with the ramparts, as well as the third church at the Marian Mount with five chapels along the access way to it. The background is created by the silhoutte of the Levoča Hills. In the front view there is a figural staffage.

Ludwig Rohbock – Georg Michael Kurz. The Spiš Castle and the town of Spišské Podhradie

1856 – 1860
enue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, steel engraving, size: (sheet) height 15,2 cm, width 24,1 cm, (printed area) height 10,9 cm, width 16,3 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the engraver) G. M. Kurz sculpt.

The author placed a figural staffage into the front view. The middle section is filled in with the architecture of Spišské Podhradie with its landmarks, such as the parish church, the evangelical church and the convent of the Merciful Brethren Order. The ruin of the Spiš Castle is towering above the town and, behind it, there is a silhoutte of Branisko.

Ludwig Rohbock – Franz Hablitschek. A view of Kežmarok and the High Tatras

1856 – 1860
venue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, steel engraving, size: (sheet) height 17,2 cm, width 25,9 cm, (printed area) height 10,9 cm, width 17,1 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the engraver) F. Hablitschek sculpt.

The engraving depicts the architectural landmarks of the town: the Kežmarok castle, the parish church of St. Cross, the belfry and the church of Pauline Fathers. On the other side there is the dominant of the region – the Tatran peaks filling in the back section.

Ludwig Rohbock – Georg Michael Kurz. Smokovec spa

1856 – 1860
venue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, steel engraving, size: (sheet) height 15,2 cm, width 24,1 cm, (printed area) height 11,8 cm, width 17,2 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the engraver) G. M. Kurz sculpt.

Rohbock’s view of Smokovec with bath houses set into the Tatran woody nature is very close to a slightly older work by Teodor Boemm. Both artists had chosen an almost identical place for the depiction of the well known recreational locality, where one can, in additon to Smokovec, observe the original massif of the High Tatras with Slavkovský Peak at the centre. There is a figural staffage at the front.

Ludwig Rohbock – Joseph Maximilian Kolb – Wiliam Knopfmacher.
St. Martin’s Cathedral in Spišská Kapitula

1856 – 1860
venue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, steel engraving, size: (gummed sheet) height 24,1 cm, width 30,3 cm, (printed area) height 10,5 cm, width 15,9 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the editor and the engraver) J. M. Kolb dirext. Knopfmacher sculpt.

The central motif of the engraving is the Spišská Kapitula Cathedral of St. Martin, surrounded by the walls, on the left the Bishop’s Palace and the Upper Gate, on the right the entrance gate (in the south-western section)| and the former Jesuits’ seminary.

Ludwig Rohbock – Franz Hablitschek. A view of the Tatras from the village of Slavkov

1856 – 1860
venue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, (frame) wood, steel engraving, (frame) carving, size: (with the frame) height 23,8 cm, width 33,6 cm, (printed area) height 10,7 cm, width 16,8 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the engraver) F. Hablitschek sculpt.

A view of the High Tatras and the village of Great Slavkov. At the front there are trees and fields, the central section is created by the panorama of the village with St. Andrew’s Church and the rear part is filled in with the High Tatran peaks: Lomnický, Ľadový and Slavkovský.

Ludwig Rohbock – Adrián Fesca. Studenovodský (Cold Water) Waterfall

1856 – 1860
venue of origin: Darmstadt
paper, (frame) wood, steel engraving, (frame) carving, size: (with frame) height 33,6 cm, width 23,8 cm, (printed area) height 16,7 cm, width 11,9 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) L. Rohbock delt., (on the right below the image the engraver) A. Fesca sculpt.

A purely landscape image from the Tatras showing the Studenovodský (Cold Water) Waterfall with the silhoutte of the Tatras at the background.

Theodor Boemm (Tivadar Boemm) – Johann Varrone (Giovanni Battista Varrone). Starý Smokovec

around 1859
venue of origin: Vienna
paper, coloured lithography, size: (sheet) height 55,5 cm, width 68,5 cm, (printed area) height 34 cm, width 46 cm
signed: (on the left below the image the author of the art work) fest. Boemm Tivadar, (on the right below the image the author of the lithography) Kӧre rajz. Varrone J. (in the middle below the image the editor) Nyom. Reiffenstein és Rösch Bécseben.

The author of the work is Teodor Boemm (1822, Mukachevo – 1889, Dresden) and the lithography was made by the Italian/Swiss painter and graphic designer Johann Varrone (Giovanni Battista Varrone). As a child, Theodor Boemm had moved to Levoča with his family and later became a student of a Levoča painter Joseph Czauczik. He continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Having graduated from the Academy he had settled in Levoča and was active there as a tutor of drawing. In addition to landscape images he was making paintings for sacral interiors and was one of the portraitists of the Spiš aristocratic family Csáky. In 1881 he returned to Dresden where he continued working (works of this period are unknown) and, eventually, died. Both his daughters, Ritta and Clare, were artistically active too.

David Kuntz. Das pittoreske Oesterreich oder Album der österreichischen Monarchie. Die Zipser Gespanschaft in Ober Ungarn (Picturesque Austria or an Album of Austrian Monarchy. The Spiš County in Upper Hungary)

1840
Venue of edition: Vienna, publisher: Kunsthandlung H. F. Müller, German, Gothic script
Material and technique: paper (book sheets), cardboard (cover), print, hardback, originally paper wrapped, 54 pages , 5 inset sheets of coloured lithographies and 1 map, height 27,5 cm, width 21 cm, depth 1 cm

A book on the old Spiš County came out as the fifth booklet of a large planned series „Das pittoreske Oesterreich oder Album der österreichischen Monarchie“, (Picturesque Austria or an Album of Austrian Monarchy. The Spiš County in Upper Hungary) which was to map the whole area of the contemporary monarchy. The work is a typical example of topographical literature of the mid 19th century, the aim of which was to bring, to a maximum possible extent, information from the given region. The author of individual water colours is Jacob Alt (1838) and the lithographies for the publication were made by Joseph Zahradniczek (Zahradnicžek).