(1724, Langenargen - 1795, Vienna)

The Trinity

c. 1785
Oil on canvas, 62,5 x 33 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

It was as a master of fresco-painting and as a most prolific decorator of churches and palaces in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary that Franz Anton Maulbertsch was most appreciated by his contemporaries. Perhaps nowadays greater value is placed on his surviving bozzetti - sketches painted in gloriously fresh colours with brilliant technique.

His late works, such as The Holy Trinity, a sketch for an altar-piece, are fluid in their handling, and the light colours give a silvery effect. In these sketches Maulbertsch captured his subjects with a few unbelievably light strokes of the brush and some spots of colour permeated with light. When he elaborated these sketches in their final form, however, particularly in the case of the later altarpieces, the spontaneity was often lost, the forms becoming heavier and the hues muted.

This sketch from the late period of the artist was identified as a study for the altarpiece in the Parish Church in Wien-Reindorf.

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