Cosmas Damian Asam


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(bapt. Benediktbeuren, 28 Sept. 1686; d Munich, 10 May 1739) and

(bapt. Tegernsee, 1 Sept 1692; d Mannheim, 29 Apr. 1750).

German architects and decorators, brothers. They had their first training from their father, the painter HansGeorgAsam (1649–1711). After his death, Cosmas Damian spent three years studying in Rome (1711–14); it is generally assumed that Egid Quirin accompanied him, although there is no documentary evidence for this. Cosmas Damian was a fresco painter; Egid Quirin also painted, but he was primarily a sculptor and stuccoist. Both brothers also worked as architects. They did much of their work as a team, specializing in the interior decoration of churches—uniting architecture, painting, and sculpture in a sumptuous display and developing the dramatic effects of light and illusionism pioneered by Italian Baroque artists such as Bernini and Andrea Pozzo. The best known of their churches is that of St John Nepomuk, Munich (1733–46). The brothers themselves paid for the building (which was attached to Egid Quirin's house), and it is often referred to simply as the ‘Asamkirche’. It is a fairly small building but creates an overpowering feeling of religious fervour. Apart from their native Bavaria, they worked in other parts of Germany and also in Austria, Switzerland, Bohemia, and Silesia.

Subjects: Architecture.

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