Johannes of Ljubljana

(fl. c. 1435—1460)

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(fl c. 1435–60). Austrian painter. His name and place of origin are known from inscriptions in which he signed himself as Johannes, son of Master Friedrich of villach and citizen of Laibach (now Ljubljana), on his fresco cycles in Lower Carniola (Slovenia): frescoes of the Legend of St Nicholas and Apostles and Saints (1443; Visoko pod Kureščkom, St Nicholas) and of scenes from the Childhood of Christ, Passion and Life of the Virgin and other subjects (1456; Muljava, Pilgrimage Church). That he was trained in the workshop run by his father, the leading artist in Carinthia, is revealed both in his style and in two wall paintings in Carinthia that he produced before moving to Laibach (c. 1435; St Lorenzen/Sillebrücken, St Laurentius; c. 1440; Liemberg an der Glan, St Jakob). In his principal works to the south of the Karawanken Alps, the wall paintings at Visoko pod Kureščkom (1443) and Muljava (1456) and those at St Peter's in Kameni vrh nad Ambrusom (1459), he showed himself a true product of the Villach workshop, and his personal style can be detected only in the lyrically conceived, melancholy saints. He apparently worked again with his father in Carinthia (c. 1452–5; Deutschgriffen, Jakobikirche). Johannes of Ljubljana is generally considered the best representative of the ‘Soft style’ in central Slovenian painting; he was capable of retaining the original freshness of the old forms that had been superseded elsewhere. Among the works of his successors, the fresco Holy Sunday (c. 1460; Crngrob, Pilgrimage Church, façade) is interesting in iconographical terms.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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