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Folk Motifs in Friedrich Schmidt’s Projects in Croatia
; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Art History, 10000 Zagreb, Ivana Lucica 3, Croatia
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (4 MB)
Damjanović, D. (2009). Narodni motivi u projektima Friedricha Schmidta za Hrvatsku. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 21(1), 331-354. Preuzeto s https://hrcak.srce.hr/45125
One of the most important missions which the Đakovo Bishop Jospip Juraj Strossmayer, who was probably the most important chaperon of Croatian culture in the 19the century, had set for himself, was the ‘reformation’ of Croatian architecture and art of that time, i.e. the introduction of a new level of quality. In the field of architecture ‘reformation’ was for him the departure from the dominant style of the period, Baroque Classicism, and return to historical styles: Romanesque and Gothic style in sacral and Renaissance style in profane architecture.
The architect he chose as the key person for the introduction of the new level of quality into Croatian architecture was Viennese architect Friedrich Schmidt, who was considered the most famous neo-Gothic builder of his time. Thanks to Strossmayer, Schmidt was the organizer of several projects in Croatia: he completed the building of Đakovo Cathedral, in Zagreb he restored the parish church of St. Mark, initiated the restoration of Zagreb Cathedral and built the well of Blessed Virgin Mary on Kaptol and the building of the Croatian Academy.
In accordance with the raising of national awareness, the 19th century architects regularly used specific forms and elements on the buildings they designed to refer to some specificities of architectural traditions of the regions where they worked. Hence, in two of his projects in Croatia, Schmidt used folk ornaments: in the design of the roof of the church of St. Mark in Zagreb (from 1876) and the floor in Đakovo Cathedral (project from 1879). In doing this he was following the theoretical assumptions of the architect Gottfried Semper that the motifs from textile were the primary architectural ornaments.
Schmidt’s templates for folk motifs were not difficult to trace. The employment of this architect in Đakovo and in Zagreb dovetailed with one of the largest projects of popularization of folk art of Southern Slavs, which was the publication of the book titled Ornaments of Yugoslav Folk Domestic Arts and Industrial Crafts by Felix Lay (1871, 1875‒1884).
Schmidt covered the roof of the church of St. Mark with glazed roof tiles in accordance with the tradition which existed in Gothic architecture. The dominant motif of the roof were the two gigantic coats of arms, that of Croatia and Zagreb, surrounded by the motifs found on folk textiles, supposedly traditional aprons from the Đakovo region, which the architect had seen in Lay’s collection. To the floor of Đakovo Cathedral he applied similar, thought somewhat simpler, motifs, found on the folk carpets. The floor was made of cement tiles produced in three different colors (blue-black, red and white-grey).
Josip Juraj Strossmayer; Friedrich Schmidt; Church of St. Mark in Zagreb; Đakovo Cathedral; historicism; neo-Gothicism; Felix (Srećko) Lay
Hrčak ID: 45125
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