ASAM, Cosmas Damian
(b. 1686, Benedikternbeuern, d. 1739, Weltenburg)

High altar

Ursuline Church, Straubing

The final glorious achievement of the Asam brothers' collaboration before Cosmas Damian's death in 1739 was the decoration of the Ursuline church in Straubing. Egid Quirin was responsible for designing the building and the stuccowork, while Cosmas Damian painted three altarpieces but was unable to complete his frescoes. Green, red, gold and white predominate in Egid Quirin's inventive and imaginative stuccowork; for the high altar he produced statues of St Ignatius and St Carlo Borromeo, which stood beside twisted columns framing Cosmas Damian's high altarpiece.

In the design of the interior, light is channeled to raise the eyes of the faithful from darkness on the earthly level up to the highest heavenly spheres, where sacred events are enacted in illusionistically rendered buildings. Baroque pathos, the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk and of a theatrum sacrum went hand in hand. In this the deep piety of both artists was likewise central - it was no accident that, with a few exceptions, they worked principally for church patrons, most of them in the Benedictine Order.