Basic information
Original title:
Umetnostno naročništvo Celjskih grofov. Terenske raziskave umetnostnih spomenikov in analiza arhivskih virov
Acronym:
OEAD, SI 07/2018
Researchers involved:
,
 
Duration:
1 January 2018–31 December 2019
Code:
ARRS, BI-AT/18-19-006
Description

From 1341 to 1456 the Counts of Cilli were one of the most important noble families in central Europe. Their counties extended over today’s Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, but their importance was much bigger. Their rise began as loyal vassals of the Habsburgs, later on they were favoured by Sigismund of Luxemburg; he also married Barbara of Cilli. That paved the way for elevating the counts to princes. In the last years new aspects of the history of the Counts of Cilli were researched at the University of Klagenfurt. In the light of the newly discovered archival documents and many other new historical findings, especially more comprehensive understanding of the relations between the Houses of Habsburg and Cilli, the patronage of the Counts of Cilli requires new evaluations and more thorough research.

The Counts of Cilli were without doubt among the most generous patrons, donors and founders of various church institutions in the high medieval Central Europe. Many original archival records as well as architectures and artworks with the proud representation of their coat-of-arms have survived and testify of their activities as patrons. Numerous archival and written sources dating to the Early Modern period also give an insight into their patronage and church founding and attest to their commissioning activities. The reasons behind ambitious and benevolent support of artistic commissions by the Counts of Cilli were not only their cunningly planned political activities, with which they manage to establish themselves within the highest European aristocratic elite, which was their primary influence. The other aspect which they aspired was the medieval care for the afterlife of their immortal souls.

As early as 1880 Ignaz Orožen emphasised the outstanding role of Counts of Cilli and their artistic commissions (Ignaz OROŽEN, Bistum und Diözese Lavant III, Maribor 1880, p. 39): “Die Grafen von Cilli haben /…/ in Cilli selbst und im weiteren Bereiche ihrer Grafschaft und ihrer übrigen Besizungen so viele Kirchen, Klöster, Benefizien und andere fromme Stiftungen errichtet und dotirt, daß es kaum ein zweites Dynastengeschlecht in Innerösterreich gegeben hat und so Großartiges für die katholische Kirche geleistet hätte, als das Grafengeschlecht der Cillier.” One would expect that the art patronage of the members of this dynasty would hitherto be researched comprehensively. But, surprisingly, the state of scholarship is far below the expected. This research theme has only been tackled by individual studies, in which the question of the Counts of Cilli's patronage of selected small number of monuments has been dealt. So far the studies have focused only on select monuments, leaving the comprehensive overview of artworks linked to the Counts of Cilli and detailed comparative studies of monuments based on archival sources and contemporary political role of the members of Cilli dynasty behind. Therefore, this aspect needs careful and detailed further analysis and studies.

Recent studies carried out by the members of the project team testify that re-reading and reinterpretation of archival sources on the House of Cilli and study of their artistic patronage in the context of their relations with the Houses of Habsburg, Luxembourg and other elite dynasties can bring new insights and new understanding of the Counts of Cilli as art patrons. A thorough research of their role as founders of churches and monasteries and as commissioners of artworks thus remains a large lacuna in the historiography of the Counts of Cilli. To fill this lacuna the close cooperation between art historians and historians is of crucial importance. Only in this way, the joint interdisciplinary work can result in new interpretations and comprehensive studies of this research topic.

The researches therefore focus on the analysis of all still surviving monuments and those documented in archival records that are linked with the Counts of Cilli. It comprises fieldwork as new readings and interpretations of partially known and newly discovered documents in the light of their relation with the actually artworks.

The mobility project Austria-Slovenia wants to prepare a following joint project at the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS). The targeted project wants to find out which artworks were produced under the aegis of the Counts of Cilli. Besides, in this mobility project, the artistic commissions of the Counts of Cilli are examined in joint field studies. This way a principal catalogue of patronage of the Counts of Cilli is build up. So all project members will have a database for further studies.

 

Project steps

PHASES OF THE PROJECT AND THEIR REALIZATION

 

FIRST YEAR OF THE PROJECT

  • Workshop Celjski grofje. Odprta raziskovalna vprašanja/Forschungsfragen zu den Grafen von Cilli – 26th – 28th February 2018, Ljubljana, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU (Christian Domenig, Mija Oter Gorenčič, Miha Kosi, Gorazd Bence, Matjaž Bizjak, Boris Hajdinjak, Janez Mlinar)

 

FIELD STUDIES (Christian Domenig, Mija Oter Gorenčič, Miha Kosi, Gorazd Bence)

  • Field studies and research work in Austria: 30 May – 3 June 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia: 9–13 July 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Austria: 6 August 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Slovenia: 3–7 September 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Slovenia: 7−10 October 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Austria: 23−26 November 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Austria: 21 December 2018
  • Field studies and research work in Austria: 17 December 2018

 

SECOND YEAR OF THE PROJECT

  • Workhop Art Patronage of the Counts of Cilli –12–13 February 2019, Klagenfurt, Alpen-Adria Universität, Institut für Geschichte (Christian Domenig, Miha Kosi, Gorazd Bence, Mija Oter Gorenčič)
  • Workshop Celjski grofje. Perspektive mednarodnih interdisciplinarnih raziskav / Die Grafen von Cilli. Perspektiven einer internationalen interdisziplinären Forschung – 19th–21st December 2019, Ljubljana, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU (Christian Domenig, Miha Kosi, Gorazd Bence, Mija Oter Gorenčič)

 

FIELD STUDIES (Christian Domenig, Mija Oter Gorenčič, Miha Kosi, Gorazd Bence)

  • Field studies and research work in Austria – 13−14 February 2019
  • Field studies and research work in Austria and Slovenia –7– 9 June 2019
  • Field studies and research work in Austria – 19–25 June 2019  
  • Field studies and research work in Slovenia, Austria and Croatia – 2–6 September 2019
  • Field studies and research work in Slovenia and  Austria – 7–9 November 2019
Results

BENCE, Gorazd, BIZJAK, Matjaž, DOMENIG, Christian, HAJDINJAK, Boris, KOSI, Miha, MLINAR, Janez, OTER GORENČIČ, Mija. Zgodovinske in umetnostnozgodovinske raziskovalne perspektive o Celjskih grofih = Historische und kunsthistorische Forschungperspektiven zu den Grafen von Cilli, lecture at workshop Celjski grofje: odprta raziskovalna vprašanja, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 27th Feb. 2018.

DOMENIG, Christian. Historische Forschungen zu den Grafen von Cilli in Österreich, lecture at workshop "Celjski grofje: odprta raziskovalna vprašanja", Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 27th February 2018.

OTER GORENČIČ, Mija. Mäzenatentum der Grafen von Cilli - die Grafen von Cilli als das Vorbild für die Habsburger?, lecture at workshop Celjski grofje: odprta raziskovalna vprašanja, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 27th Feb. 2018.

BENCE, Gorazd. Das Minoritenkloster zu Cilli als Grablege der Grafen von Cillilecture at workshop Celjski grofje: odprta raziskovalna vprašanja, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 27th Feb. 2018.

DOMENIG, Christian. Neue Trends in der Mediävistik in Hinblickauf der Adelsforschung, lecture at workshop Art Patronage of the Counts of Cilli, Alpen-Adria Universität, Institut für Geschichte, Klagenfurt (AUT), 12th February 2019.

KOSI, Miha. Die Klientel der Grafen von Cilli, lecture at workshop Art Patronage of the Counts of Cilli, Alpen-Adria Universität, Institut für Geschichte, Klagenfurt (AUT), 12th February 2019.

DOMENIG, Christian. Auf den Spuren der Grafen von Cilli in Europa. Archivalien eines mittelalterlichen Adelsgeschlechts zwischen Barcelona und Moskau, public lecture at workshop Celjski grofje: perspektive mednarodnih interdiscipinarnih raziskav / Die Grafen von Cilli. Perspektiven einer internationalen interdisziplinären Forschung", Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 19th Dec. 2019.

OTER GORENČIČ, Mija. Das übersehene Mäzenatentum der Grafen von Cillilecture at workshop Celjski grofje: perspektive mednarodnih interdisciplinarnih raziskav, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 19th Dec. 2019. 

KOSI, Miha. Perspektiven der Cillier Forschungenlecture at workshop Celjski grofje: perspektive mednarodnih interdisciplinarnih raziskav, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 19th Dec. 2019. 

BENCE, Gorazd. Die digitale Datenbank zu den Grafen von Cillilecture at workshop Celjski grofje: perspektive mednarodnih interdisciplinarnih raziskav, Mala dvorana ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana (SLO), 19th Dec. 2019.

Funded by

The bilateral project Art Patronage of the Counts of Cilli. Field Studies of Artworks and Archival Sources is financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and by the Centre for International Cooperation & Mobility (ICM) of the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education in Research (OeAD-GmbH).