Sunday, January 10, 2010


Ferdinand Olivier
1785 - 1841
Saturday. Graveyard of Saint Peter's in Salzburg
From the series Seven Places in Salzburg and Berchtesgaden, Arranged According to the Seven Days of the Week
Lithograph first printed in gray and then with a light beige tint stone, mounted on painted and gilt board with attached title printed on brown paper
27.9 cm x 19.5 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Olivier's series ultimately comprised two allegorical pages and seven landscapes organized according to the days of the week.

In addition, he wove into the imagery allusions to biblical stories and to the cycle of life, death, and salvation.

The burial procession was incorporated into Saturday, the final day of the week.

The cliffs at the side of the graveyard incorporate the catacombs where Early Christians celebrated the Mass during the persecutions. There are several rooms and chapels (St. Gertrude's Chapel and the Maximus Chapel ) with altars, faded murals, and inscriptions.

St. Rupert originally founded St. Peter's Abbey in AD 696
The present building was constructed in the Romanesque period, then completely renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Baroque style.

Here Mozart's famed Mass in C Minor premiered in 1783, with his wife, Constanze, singing the lead soprano role.

In 1804 Olivier moved to Dresden where he became acquainted with the painters Philipp Otto Runge and Caspar David Friedrich.

From 1807 to 1810 Olivier was in Paris, and in 1811 he settled in Vienna. In 1817 Olivier became a member of the Brotherhood of Saint Luke, the artistic brotherhood (later known as the Nazarenes)

He adapted Friedrich minute observation, giving it a more "altdeutsch" quality. He also favoured landscape as representing religious experience, but interpreted this in a more conventional way.