The Heritage of the Nazarene tradition in Slovakia during the 2nd half of the 19th Century (J. B. Klemens and K. Švestka)


During the second half of the 19th century sacral painting increased in the area of the Upper Hungary (now Slovakia). By this time the main reason was quite productive rise of building of a new churches or renovation of the former ones. In this territory it was mostly the activity of the specialist for the sacral art, who under the conductorship of their donors and submitters influenced it. One of them was a member of the Franciscan order and painter Konrád Švestka (Schwestka, 1833 – 1907), active mainly during the second half of the 19th century. He worked namely the Salvatorian province as a sculptor, church interior designer, restorer and renovator. The second important personality in sacral painting was the painter, geologist and scientist, Slovak patriot Jozef Božetech Klemens (1817 – 1883) who primarily operated in the area of today's Slovakia. In a relation to their generation, Švestka and Klemens seem as a completion of one stage of development. In contrast to the votaries of Modernism (for example the Beuron Art School), artists of sacral-historical compositions (such as Mihály Munkácsy), by practice, realization and ways of thinking, they were evidently tied to the older tradition of modern times. Their art and renovations were the service to God, and reflected the tastes of the ones that commissioned them, where the Nazarene tradition belonged to frequently used.