Biblioteca dell’Abbazia di Kremsmunster

1994, Printed Later
Archival lambda color photograph

Signed, titled, dated and from edition of 5 on artist’s label on verso.

Available in 3 sizes: 100 x 120 cm. (39.4 x 47.2 in.), 120 x 150 cm. (47.2 x 59.1 in.), 180 x 225 cm. (70.9 x 88.6 in.)

“Kremsmunster Abbey, which looks back on more than 1,000 years of unbroken history, is not only one of the oldest but also one of the largest monasteries in Austria. The same is also true of its library, which houses some 170,000 books. The Benedictine monastery was founded in 777 by Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria (c. 741-c. 796), and quickly became a centre of cultural and economic activity, initially within the Bavarian Lombard and subsequently the Carolingian sphere of influence. It was during the Carolingian era, in 789, that the abbey also opened a school, assuming an educational role that it maintains to this day. The very oldest manu­scripts in the library, including the complete copy of the Codex Millenarius, likewise date from the 8th century. The rapid growth in valuable manu­script holdings can be linked to the abbey scriptorium which flourished from the middle of the 12th century. As an imperial Habsburg abbey, Kremsmunster also benefited from endowments from the 13th century onwards. Its current appearance is stamped by the comprehensive Baroque remodelling of the church and monastery that was carried out under Abbot Erenbert Schrevogel (1634-1703). The medieval abbey was thereby transformed into a palatial complex in the Baroque style, lrud out around six courtyards and incorporating sumptuous reception rooms for the emperor’s use. The library was likewise redesigned by architect Carlo Antonio Carlone (c.1635-1708), with work starting

in 1670. Carlone created a magnificent suite of rooms in which clever visual axes suggest a symmetrical layout along an axis that in reality is impossible to contrive. The rooms are divided into sections devoted to a particular area of knowledge, illustrated accordingly in the programme of ceiling paintings and author portraits and reflected in the book titles. The Greek Room, which is decorated with portraits of Classical Greek authors, takes up in its ceiling fresco the theme of the reciprocal rela­tionship between original and translation. The adjacent Latin Room presents wisdom as the foundation of just rule by way of the example of King Solomon. In the Benedictine Room, finally, worldly wisdom gives way to the grace of God. That the Church alone conveys divine wisdom is made clear in the adjoining chamber. The observatory tower with its own library, completed in 1758, reflects the particular emphasis at Kremsmunster Abbey upon the study of the natural sciences.” – Massimo Listri’s The Worlds Most Beautiful Libraries, Taschen