The list of expenses for the painters in the photocopy of the 1777 building account of the Trattnerhof (A-Wsa, Handschriften A 322)
It is not known what became of the three altar pieces when the church was eventually closed in 1783. The paintings are now considered lost. There is however a small sketch on canvas (measuring 44 x 23 cm) for the painting of St. George by Maulbertsch which was discovered in 1963 in private property in Innsbruck and purchased by the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien (today the Wien Museum). Its similarity to the sketch of Maulbertsch's "Glorifikation Kaiser Josephs II." in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is proof that it was done in 1777.
Franz Anton Maulbertsch: St. George. Sketch for the altarpiece of the chapel in the Trattnerhof (oil on canvas, Inv. Nr. 117.422, Copyright Wien Museum)
The very special design of the painting – which is more that of a soldier on a wingless Pegasus than that of a saint killing a dragon – explains as to why the Realzeitung on 25 November 1777 described it as follows:
Künste.Herr Anton Maulpersch K.K. Akademierath hat bereits für die v. Trattnerische Hauskapelle das Hochaltarblatt verfertiget. Dieses Gemälde stellt den heiligen Georg vor. Die Erfindung ist nicht nach dem gemeinen Stil. Erhabenheit in Gedanken, Kühnheit im Pinsel verrathen einen Künstler, der sich vorlängst über das Mittelmäßige hinaufgeschwungen hat.
The Arts.Mr. Anton Maulbertsch I. & R. Academy Councilor has already made the painting for the high altar of Mr. von Trattner's house chapel. This painting shows St. George. The invention is not in the ordinary style. Sublimity of thought and audacity of streak reveal an artist who for a long time has been soaring above the mediocre.
Maulbertsch's signature as godfather of Joseph Rötzer who was born on 18 March 1785 (Maria Treu, Tom. 5, fol. 184)
© Dr. Michael Lorenz 2013. All rights reserved.