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Corpus der barocken Deckenmalerei
in Deutschland (CbDD)


Kickoff for the New Research Project on February 3rd, 2016

On Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, some 400 visitors followed the presentation of the new research project Corpus der barocken Deckenmalerei in Deutschland (CbDD) in the well-filled plenary hall of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann and project manager Prof. Dr. Stephan Hoppe opened the event. Representatives of both teams cooperating in the project introduced themselves: the Institute for Art History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and the Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte  ̶  Bildarchiv Foto Marburg at the Philipps-Universität Marburg. Baroque music and dance provided the artistic framework, performed by the Ensemble Palestra München, conducted by Michael Eberth and La Danza München, directed by Jadwiga Nowaczek.

The research team engaged in conversation

Academy President Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, Project Director Prof. Dr. Stephan Hoppe and Project Coordinator PD Dr. Ute Engel in conversation with Prof. Dr. Katharina Krause, President of the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

Prof. Dr. Hubert Locher, Director of the Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, and Werner Köhler M.A. (IT specialist of the Marburg team) in conversation with Prof. Dr. Katharina Krause (Universität Marburg) and Prof. Dr. Andrea Gottdang (Universität Salzburg).

Welcoming committee: Dr. Heiko Laß and Dr. Angelika Dreyer (research associates in Munich) with guests.


IT experts Werner Köhler M. A. (Marburg) and Dr. Eckhart Arnold (BAdW) engaged in discussion. In the background Dr. Christian Bracht (Director of the Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg).


The Keynote Speakers

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, President of the Academy, welcomed the resolution passed by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) of the German federal and state governments, to support the scientific documentation and art historical analysis of baroque ceiling painting in Germany with some 16 million Euros within the Academies’ Programme. Starting in 2015, the project will be funded for 25 years and supervised by the Bavarian Academy of Science and the Humanities.


In his welcoming address Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmermann, Dean of the Faculty for History and Art History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, emphasised the significance of mediating history and stories via images, especially with regard to a younger audience, losing more and more knowledge of the content and historical context and the meaning of paintings.  


Prof. Dr. Katharina Krause, President of Philipps-Universität Marburg, took the opportunity 'as alumna of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and as an art historian' to reflect on the history of art and ceiling painting before the Age of Enlightenment. She highlighted the potentials provided by the cooperation between the Universities in Marburg and Munich and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and the Humanities.


Project Director Prof. Dr. Stephan Hoppe explained the genesis, structure and concept of the new research project: The Corpus der barocken Deckenmalerei in Deutschland (CbDD) will provide access to ceiling paintings within the Federal Republic of Germany. It will progress typologically: Some 5000 preserved and lost monuments of Early Modern mural painting, created between around 1550 and 1800 AD, will be studied in four modules: I. Courts, palaces, and residences; II. Communal and private, aristocratic and civic buildings; III. Monasteries, priories and cathedrals; and last but not least: IV. Parish churches, pilgrimage churches and chapels. The results of the new Corpus will be made accessible on a digital platform.

The Founding of Meaning – Ceiling Painting as a Medium was the title of the following introduction into the art- and cultural-historical aspects of the topic. Prof. Dr. Andrea Gottdang (Universität Salzburg) had stepped in for the project initiator, Prof. emer. Dr. Frank Büttner, who  ̶  for health reasons  ̶  was prevented from participating in the event. Based on a rare masterpiece of mural painting – the frescos by Johann Zick and Giambattista Tiepolo in the Würzburg Residence – she explained the ‘contemporary reading’ of these images, invented to interpret and define the function of an early modern interior.


Prof. Dr. Hubert Locher, Director of the Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg and head of the project team in Marburg, provided insight into earlier methods of photographic documentation in comparison with the new opportunities provided by digital photography. Here, new perspectives open up for the understanding of mural painting in the Early Modern period: a desideratum in the image database of the Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, as well as a base for future generations of researchers.


Three case studies on the Great Electors residential palaces presented by the scientific staff of the new Corpus project, offered insight into the current project’s first phase of research on mural painting in Germany. PD Dr. Ute Engel, project coordinator and head of the Munich team (LMU München) informed the audience about a pilot project in the Bamberg Residence and offered a new approach to the interior decorations initiated by the Prince-Bishop, Elector and Archchancellor Lothar Franz von Schönborn in Bamberg and Mainz.


Based on historical photographs and other documents, Dr. Angelika Dreyer (LMU München) reported on the destroyed Berlin City Palace’s lost ceiling paintings.The rise of the Hohenzollern, initiated by the Great Elector, continued under his successor, who declared himself king in Prussia in 1701, and established the magnificent art of mural painting as a major medium for visualizing his newly established royal status.  


Dr. Heiko Laß (LMU München) presented the latest results of his research on the painted décor of Schloss Herrenhausen in Hannover. Here, only the Orangerie, completed in 1698 and almost completely decorated with wall paintings has survived as part of a huge, but never realized building project by Elector Ernst August von Hannover. A treasure of baroque ceiling painting, it has received only very little attention by researchers so far.


Cultural Information Scientist Werner Köhler M. A. (Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte  ̶  Bildarchiv Foto Marburg) presented the scientific communication infrastructure 'WIssKI', a new digital research platform for the Corpus der barocken Deckenmalerei in Deutschland.

Project Director Prof. Dr. Stephan Hoppe finally provided an outlook on the subject of „Ceiling Painting and the Digital Image of the Future”. The documentation of the Corpus of Baroque Celining Painting in Germany (CbDD) wants to put more emphasis on innovative technologies in digital photography and 3D visualisation. In the future, art-historical research on the Baroque will profit even more from the potentials of the digital humanities.

Music and Dance

The musical framework was provided by the Ensemble Palestra München conducted by Michael Eberth as well as by La Danza München, directed by Jadwiga Nowaczek, with teachers and students of the Hochschule für Musik München, and guests. They performed works by Giuseppe Antonio Bernabei (c. 1649-1732), among others Diana amante (premiered 1688 in the Georgisaal of the Munich Residence), Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and Melchior D’Ardespin (1643-1717).


Dancers of the Ensemble La Danza, Munich

Guests of the Project Presentation


©Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, Foto: Thomas Scheidt (CbDD) und

©BAdW, Foto: Janina Amendt