When all profs seem to care about is my ability to memorize the name, architect, and dates of 100+ churches, it can be hard to remember that I actually love this stuff... but enough of my whining, on with the amazing art.
This is Weltenburg Abbey in Germany by the Asam Brothers, the best part is the altar:
Click here because it wasn't happy with my hotlinking or something.
Hard to find good pics, but this is amazing. The dragon and girl are in realistic polychromy. St. George and his horse are silver and gold—realistic for his armor, but not his skin or the horse—and they are on a pedestal. It's like the girl is looking at a statue of the saint. Then, in front of the niche are two saints, painted to look like marble, except with just tinges of color on the lips and cheeks. They fact that they are wood painted to look like marble, rather than actual marble, just makes it even better. We have realistic sculpture, less realistic sculpture, and sculpture masquerading as sculpture in a different material! So many layers, so much more sophisticated an investigation into the "meaning of art" than what contemporary artists are doing.
This photo is blurry, but shows the color better.
This is a sculpture of one of the Asam brothers, up in the gallery, looking down at the altar. Now, it was tradition for a chapel to have a statue of its patrons praying, as a kind of votive figure. Here, we have the architect, admiring his work, and laughing. Pretty daring.
I just think this stuff is so cool.
Pretty good panorama thing here: Virtueller Rundgang: Klosterkirche Weltenburg
Have another post in mind when I feel like writing it up but in the meantime please contribute whatever you like!