ASAM, Egid Quirin
(b. 1692, Tegernsee, d. 1750, Mannheim)

Assumption of the Virgin

Marble and stucco
Pilgrimage-church, Rohr, Bavaria

The decoration of the churches required a great number of craftsmen in stucco. Germany received this technique from Italy and proceeded to develop it with virtuosity. In the Rococo period, this art graduated out of the craft stage, since more and more motifs with figures were required and a number of great artists applied themselves to it. These included, among others, Egid Quirin Asam.

The work of the Asam brothers is more closely connected in terms of the history of art with Italian architecture than the work of their German contemporaries. The effects of Roman stimuli can be clearly seen in the church at Rohr, near Regensburg. In the choir, the Asams, instead of a high altar, placed a showpiece: the Apostles, life-size figures standing round a life-size Baroque sarcophagus, and the Virgin rising to Heaven supported by angels to be received into a glory of clouds and cherubs high above. Wild gesticulation and dark glowing colour all help to inflame the passion of faith.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 19 minutes):
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme