Academic thesis

Petra Dariz: The pietá in the monastery "Marienberg" - s study about medieval stucco sculpture Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: The origin of the pieta in the monastery “Marienberg”, a Benedictine abbey in South Tyrol, has been a matter of debate for years. Contrary to the previous art historic classification as a “Steinguss”, comprehensive analyses by optical microscopy, REM-SE, EDX, XRD, TGA, ultrasonic and radiology suggest it to be a medieval stucco sculpture, built up in multiple layers and modelled by carving techniques. The stucco comprises the mineral assemblage of gypsum (calcium sulphate dihydrate >95%) with minor anhydrite, dolomite, calcite, celestine and quartz. Morphological analysis by REM-SE revealed a predominating crystal form of short prisms, which is interpreted as an indication for gypsum burnt at high temperatures (>800°C). A survey on the mineralogy of local occurrences of natural gypsum in the upper Vinschgau clearly supports the use of local raw materials. The stylistic and iconographical analyses are supported by a C14-age of 590 ±40 years, confirming previous evaluations by art historians. Combined with the documentation of the polychromy the analysis suggests an earlier origin of the pietá.


  • academic institution: Hochschule der Künste Bern
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Ueli Fritz
  • assistant Tutor:  Dr. Frank Winnefeld
  • date:  2004
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  65

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