Johann Christian Wenzinger als (zunft-)"freier Künstler" und die Reliefs der Gallusvita

Translated title of the contribution: Johann Christian Wenzinger as (guilt-)"free artist" and the Gallus Reliefs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The article provides detailed formal analysis of the cycle of 8 large-scale stucco reliefs of the ‘Life of St Gallus’ in the cathedral of St Gallen in Switzerland, and of the essential role the cycle plays within the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ of the cathedral’s interior decoration. The overall design for the interior was furnished by Johann Christian Wenzinger, the sculptor of the ‘Life of St Gallus’. Organization of the decoration process was also left to him, and, highly unusually among his German peers, he took an active part in its execution across all media (sculpture, plasterwork and painting). My article revisits his biography and oeuvre and offers new, in-depth analysis of his artistic and social standing in the context of current research on the guilds, and shows how he managed to carve a successful career outside guild rules – and why he had to.
Translated title of the contributionJohann Christian Wenzinger as (guilt-)"free artist" and the Gallus Reliefs
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationDie Kathedrale St. Gallen
Subtitle of host publicationDas spätbarocke Bauwerk und seine Ausstattung
EditorsJosef Grünenfelder
Place of PublicationLindenberg
PublisherKunstverlag Josef Fink
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9783959761048
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Rococo
  • Sculpture
  • Plasterwork
  • Workshop organization
  • Monastic patronage
  • Guilds
  • Interior decoration
  • Relief


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