High altar

Catalogue note author
Maria Działo


The high altar in the church in Łapsze Wyżne was built shortly after the construction of the temple in Rococo style, in 1776. It represents a single-storey, three-axis reredos with gates, decorated with a rococo ornament, typical of the time of creation. Together with two side altars and a pulpit, it forms an integral church decor, made by the workshop of artists from Kežmarok – Johann and Franciszek Feeg. The iconographic programme of the high altar with the painting "St. Peter and St. Paul" directly relates to the invocation of the temple. The altar's funder is Jan Joanelli of Tolvano. To create the altar, he ordered artists from Spiš, i.e. the painter Imrich Jagušič, who painted the image of St. Peter and St. Paul, and brothers from the Feeg family. Since the statues located on the lower tier of the altar express calmness, and robes are draped in vertical and monotonous folds, unlike the statues on the second tier with dynamical expression in form of movement, Katerina Chmelinová – a Slovak researcher, suggested that the altar's reredos was made by Franciszek Feeg in collaboration with his younger brother Johan, who carved statues of St. Joachim and St. Joseph in the altar final. Feeg's sculptures are characterised by natural poses, lavish folds of robes modelled in the form of sharply buckling planes, (reminiscent of a broken metal sheet), and faces with a significant anatomical type with such specific features as plump cheeks, half-open mouths and large noses. The altar and its sculptures are examples of so-called Rococo of Spiš – a style that gradually developed from the 1740s and was characterised by exceptional decorativeness of means of expression. The works of artists from Kežmarok – the authors of the work in question – were the culmination of that style.

How to cite?

Maria Działo, "High altar", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2023, source:  https://sdm.upjp2.edu.pl/en/works/high-altar-58

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