Court Oratory on the Nave’s North Side of the Graz Cathedral
The Court Oratory was designed by Georg Kräxner, while the sculptural work was made by Philipp Jakob Straub.1 This can be dated to the year 1734; therefore it is one of the artist’s earliest works, which he overtook from Schoy as his workshop successor.2 It is a magnificent sweeping construction on five consoles whose sizes decrease outwardly. The window zone is divided by five pilasters; the inner- and outermost show a herm. Their upper bodies are very vivacious and show a well-defined musculature. The arms are stretched upwards and support the cranked entablature. On top, there are two eagles with outspread wings as culmination; the left one holds a sword in his claw, the right one a sceptre. Between them is a coat-of-arms cartouche with the Austrian shield and weaponry emblems. Outermost, there are two ornamental vases.
The faces of the herms are comparable to those of the sculpture of St Leonhard of St Stefan in Rosental, which can be dated to the year 1730 (according to the inscription on the pedestal). The facial modelling with prominent cheekbones, bulging eyes and pronounced eyebrows is identical in both cases.
Construction / Execution
It is a sweeping construction on five consoles. The window zone is divided by five pilasters.
Author: Georg Kräxner
Author: Philipp Jakob Straub (Wiesensteig 1706 – Graz 1774)
Technique(s): wood carving
Material(s): gold leaf, red bole
The Court Oratory on the north side of the nave, Cathedral Graz (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, 2014)
Herm (far left), Court Oratory, Cathedral Graz (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, 2014)
Herm (middle), Court Oratory, Cathedral Graz (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, 2014)
Detail, Court Oratory, Cathedral Graz (photo by Diocesan Museum Graz, 2014)
Catalogue entry prepared by Christina Pichler and Dagmar Probst
Recommended citation: Christina Pichler and Dagmar Probst, Court Oratory on the Nave’s North Side of the Graz Cathedral , in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 24/09/2021) URL
Sources and Bibliography
Dehio. Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs. Graz, Wien, Verlag Anton Schroll & Co, 1979
Horst Schweigert, Philipp Jakob Straub (1706–1774). Ein Grazer Barockbildhauer, in: Studien zur Kunstgeschichte Steiermarks, Horst Schweigert (ed.), Kumberg, Sublilium Schaffer Verlag, 1992, 309–329
The TrArS project is dedicated to the study and presentation of artworks created by members of the Straub family in 18th century Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. This website is being updated regularly and reflects the current state of the ongoing research.