Cosmas Damian Asam
* 1686 Benediktbeuern
† 1739 Kloster Weltenburg
Cosmas Damian Asam, born at the Bavarian town of Benediktbeuern in 1686, six years before his brother Egid Quirin, was, along with his brother, one of the key figures in Southern German rococo. Active as painter and architect, Cosmas Damian Asam came from an artist family – his father Hans Georg Asam was a painter, too. He took care of the two brothers first steps in art education.
Eventually, a journey to Rome (1711-1714) provided the right inspiration: Cosmas Damian Asam began to study with Giuseppe Ghezzi, and, besides the highly baroque art of Gianlorenzo Bernini, he was particularly impressed by works of Pietro da Cortona and Domenico Zampieri. Additionally, Austrian art became a further source of inspiration for Cosmas Damian Asam.
Back from Rome, Cosmas Damian Asam at first worked together with his father Hans Georg Asam for some time and also made numerous paintings on canvas with religious themes. Cosmas Damian Asams greatest artistic merits were gained in cooperation with his brother: together the Asam brothers created church interiors in which they combined architecture, painting and sculpting to form sensuous, graceful works of art that are filled with life. When observing them the eye never comes to rest. With great passion Cosmas Damian Asam and Egid Quirin Asam were particularly dedicated to light effects. Cosmas Damian Asam made major contributions to the brothers’ masterpieces: He created the architectural plan for the monastery Weltenburg (1717-1736) on the outline of a lengthwise ellipsis. Additionally, Cosmas Damian Asam contributed a great share to the famous "Asam church” (1733-1746).
Among his greatest achievements in painting are the ceiling in the Einsiedeln Abbey
or the paintings in the Weingarten Abbey. The frescoes in the Weltenburg monastery were the last murals that Cosmas Damian Asam could execute. Drawings and etchings deliver additional proof of Cosmas Damian Asam’s outstanding talents.
Cosmas Damian Asam was granted numerous honors throughout his life: Not only was he Bavarian court painter and episcopal valet in Freising, but also councilman in Electoral Palatinate as of 1732.
In 1739 Cosmas Damian Asam died in the Weltenburg monastery.