Ceiling and mural paintings are constitutive elements in the design of baroque interiors. Unlike all other forms of pictorial art, these truly three-dimensional artistic media define early modern architecture literally from above, through colourful and complex iconographic programmes: in ecclesiastical as well as secular environments, in residential palaces and ceremonial halls, churches and monasteries, grand staircases or libraries. Thus, baroque murals on walls and ceilings could unfold an astonishing diversity and capacity for artistic innovation from the mid 16th to the late 18th century.
The aim of the “Corpus der barocken Deckenmalerei in Deutschland” (CbDD) is to explore, document, and interpret approx. 5,000 monuments of this pictorial medium within the boundaries of present-day Germany in their architectural, historical, and art-historical context. The project looks at well-preserved as well as destroyed monuments, which are documented by historical, visual and textual sources. The two supporting pillars of the project are the documentation and the interpretation of mural painting in Germany from an interdisciplinary perspective and within the broader context of art history in early modern Europe.
The project continues a preceding project that published 15 volumes of ceiling paintings in Upper Bavaria from 1976 to 2010. The new Corpus of Baroque Ceiling Painting in Germany will proceed typologically and process the material in four modules: I. Courts, palaces and residences; II. Communal and private, aristocratic and civic buildings; III. Monasteries, priories, and cathedrals; IV. Parish churches, pilgrimage churches and chapels. The results of the new corpus will be made available to the public via an internet platform. The documentation itself involves innovative technologies, digital photography and partly 3D visualisation. In this way, the art-historical research on the Baroque can profit from the potentials of the field of digital humanities.
Two research teams at the Institute for Art History of the Ludwig- Maximilians-University in Munich and at the German Documentation Centre for Art History, “Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg”, cooperate closely on the new Corpus of Baroque Ceiling Painting in Germany. They are supervised by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in the Academy programme. Promoting young researchers is an integral part of the project. The project is led by Prof. Dr. Stephan Hoppe (LMU Munich) and is set to last for 25 years.