Erik Nitsche: Church At Wies
Artist: Erik Nitsche
Dominikus Zimmermann was one of the greatest representatives of the Southern German Rococo style of architecture, which derived its name from the name given a shell ornamentation frequently used in architecture during the mid to late 1700s. Born in 1685, Zimmermann grew up in an area which produced some of the most important creative Bavarian artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was in Bavaria that Zimmermann received much of his early creative inspiration which he later developed into his own unique style. Zimmermann's first commission as an architect was the church of Maria Medingen. In this church, he divided massive open areas into simple hall-like rooms with pillars and posts rather than leaving the areas open. To Zimmermann, a wall was not just a mass which served to carry a load, but was something whose form could be changed to be more pleasing aesthetically. By cutting-in molded windows, Zimmermann also developed creative lighting patterns. The church at Wies is perhaps Zimmermann's most famous structure. In its design, he reached a zenith of eighteenth century European art. With his brother Johann Baptist, a master fresco artist, Zimmerman combined space with three-dimensional decorations, lighting effects, and colors to produce a festive atmosphere for a church. The design of the Wies church ended an era in which architecture was adorned with ornaments. Instead, architecture itself became ornamental.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 70pf Dominikus Zimmerman stamp issued May 7, 1985.
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