MILDORFER, Joseph Ignaz
(b. 1719, Innsbruck, d. 1775, Wien)


Austrian painter. He was born into a known Tyrolese painter family. He moved at an early date to the imperial city to earn his living, like so many of his fellow countrymen. Between 1740 and 1742 he studied at the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts, where in 1742 he won a competition prize, and in 1751, following the artistic approach and example of his fellow Tyrolese painter Paul Troger, he became an academic professor. He won fame and great commissions in Austria, Bohemia, Moravia and Hungary as a fresco and altarpiece painter.

In his early works, such as in Hafnerberg Pilgrim church (1743), he followed Troger's Late Baroque compositional and decorative style, while his later frescoes, such as the evocative ceiling fresco of Schönbrunn Menagerie or the mansions of Eszterháza (1764-66) and Gács (Halic) show the influences of a more pictorial and looser Rococo. Some of his works can be reconstructed only on the basis of old descriptions and eventual sketches (destroyed frescoes of Máriavölgy (Marianka) Pilgrim church, altarpieces of Gács's (Halic) Capuchine church etc.). Some of his significant paintings, such as the frescoes in the chapel of Pápa palace or the altarpiece Flight to Egypt of Sasvár (Sastin) church were recently identified as his works. Our knowledge of his career, development and significance still seems very imperfect and in many respects needs to be developed. His picturesque, animated, skilfully executed battle scenes in Salzburg's Barockmuseum and in a Dutch collection (signed from 1742), for example, bear witness to an almost unknown chapter of his oeuvre, which should be uncovered.

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