Johann Michael Rottmayr
* 1654 Laufen a.d. Salzach
† 1730 Wien
Johann Michael Rottmayr is regarded a key figure of Austrian baroque painting.
Johann Michael Rottmayr was born at Laufen on the river Salzach, a small village belonging to Salzburg at that time, in 1654. Johann Michael Rottmayr presumably received first lessons in art from his mother, who was a painter, too. From 1675 until the late 1680s he was traveling extensively. Among others, Johann Michael Rottmayr was student in the Venetian studio of Carlotto (Johann Carl Loth).
Back home Johann Michael Rottmayr was active in Salzburg, Passau, Frain and Prague. In 1698 Johann Michael Rottmayr relocated to Vienna, where he was living until 1708. Johann Michael Rottmayr spent several summers in Wroclaw and between 1709 and 1715 Johann Michael Rottmayr commuted between Salzburg and Vienna. From 1716 to 1723 he spent the warmer months at Melk Abbey, where he made frescoes in the church.
Johann Michael Rottmayr, as well as Cosmas Damian Asam, are regarded the most important representatives of monumental baroque painting in the German language region. His artistic sources of inspiration are in Roman high baroque, e.g. Pietro da Cortonas, as well as in a Flemish high baroque of a Peter Paul Rubens. At the beginning of his career Johann Michael Rottmayr‘s works still showed a strong Chiaroscuro that called reminiscence of Carlotto, later, however, his work was coined by a rich and subtle palette, which soon brightened up and cooled down. His clearly structured and expressive paintings have a highly decorative effect.
Ceilings, both as frescoes and in oil on canvas, make for the focal point of his oeuvre. Among his undoubted highlights are the frescoes in the cupola of the Salzburg Trinity Church and the Vienna St. Charles's Church, as well as the frescoes in Melk Abbey. Virtuous drawings and sketches are also part of his ingenious oeuvre.
The famous and internationally renown artist received many commissions, in 1704 he was ennobled and allowed to carry the name ‘Freiherr von Rosenbrunn‘ (Baron Rosenbrunn).
In 1730 the famous painter and fresco maker died in Vienna and was buried at St. Stephen's Cathedral.