The Baroque art reached heights of the highest quality and also of much ornateness in the countries of central Europe. In places like today's Austria or Czechia, and also in lands of Germany. And a good example of this is this work by the brothers Costas Damian Asam (1686 – 1739) and Egid Quirim Asam (1692 – 1750).
Assumption of the Virgin of the Asam brothers
In the year 1723 they conceived and materialized this profuse composition representing the Assumption of Mary in the Augustinian convent church of Rohr.
A work in which materials are mixed, but always with a search for dynamism and maximum refinement. In fact, when looking at the whole, despite the fact that we are really facing a jumble of shapes, an idea of elegance is conveyed. It is a nervous and agitated set, but without a doubt very plastic and dazzling, which is helped by the snowy white tones of the stuccoes and the most decorative and brilliant golds.
With these characteristics, the Asam brothers kept them busy as decorators in various cities and towns in the southern regions of Germany. They were able to merge different artistic disciplines into the same work: architecture, sculpture, painting, various decorative arts, etc… And always with a very theatrical spirit of art.
Maximum expression of this is the presentation of the Virgin Mary that they make here. They show her suspended in the air, ascending from her tomb, surrounded by golden cloths and supported by two angels. They take her to the representation of the Holy Trinity that is in the highest part of the composition. And while on foot on the ground we see the Apostles who contemplate the scene and gesticulate in an exaggerated and emphatic way.
The whole set becomes a gigantic altarpiece, made with stucco and gold. Sculptural work somehow predominates in this work for the Rohr monastery, a facet that dominated more Egid Quirim. While architecture and painting were Cosmas Damian's favorite fields. Although it is true that the final result is a perfect hybridization of all this.
Possibly such a repertoire full of the theatrical and gestural, ornate and decorative, is due to the fact that the influences of Italian art arrived in Germany, from the Renaissance and the most classic baroque. Perhaps for this reason, the most decorative forms of the baroque arrived directly, and they went a step further in the exaggerated. Somehow they are already laying the foundations for a late-baroque, almost rococo, where illusory and dramatic forms predominate.