Current Exhibits

A selection of our current exhibits

  • Tyrolean ‘Landlibell’

    On June 23, 1511 the famous ‘Landlibell’ was issued by Emperor Maximilian in consensus with the Tyrolean territorial estates. This was a defence order for Tyrol which formed part of the state constitution and was largely accepted until well into the 20th century.

    The Landlibell regulated the defence of the state of Tyrol if it were under attack as well as who was responsible for raising the necessary funds. The most important regulation was that all classes were subject to military service, albeit within Tyrol’s borders.

    Two groups could be mobilised, the first being a kind of standing miltia army. Between 5,000 and 20,000 men would be drafted, with each district court and town required to provide a certain number of able-bodied men. In addition there was, in the case of a sudden attack, the posse comitatus, a general mobilisation of all men between 18 and 60 years of age who could fight.

    In exchange, Tyroleans were spared from military service beyond state borders. And Emperor Maximilian pledged not to wage any wars on or through Tyrolean ground without the permission of the territorial estates.

    To guarantee autonomous state defence, Emperor Maximilian granted Tyroleans a unique privilege, the carrying of weapons at any time. In many ways the Landlibell can be seen as the birth certificate of the traditional Tyrolean marksmen’s associations.

    The Landlibell was repeatedly adapted to suit military and political demands. The defence order first was put to the test during the Napoleonic wars at the beginning of the 19th century, which admittedly resulted in the defeat of the Tyrolean posse comitatus under Andreas Hofer in the 4th Battle of Bergisel in 1809.

    After the Austro-Hungrarian Empire collapsed in 1918, the Tyrolean marksmen’s associations lost their military purpose and have since adopted more of a social role while serving to maintain Tyrolean traditions.

  • Pannier carriers by Simon Troger

    The so-called hand stones represent the pinnacle of Baroque and Late Baroque mountain art. Hand stones are particularly beautiful pieces of crystallised mineral or ore with subjects added from miners’ everyday life, resting on costly bases. There are hardly more than a dozen of these rare examples of mountain art left in the world.

    The cabinet of mountain curiosities at the Leogang Mining and Gothic Museum has two hand stones with added pannier carriers on display, created by Simon Troger in his Tyrolean workshop in the 18th century.

    First there is a large figure with a hat, its face made from ivory or bone, walking on a hill made of minerals and stone. You can recognise smoky quartz, mica schist and actinolite (from the Greek for ‘shining stone’) but also a small piece of amethyst, polished carnelian and fossilised snails and corals. The hand stone and figure rests on a wooden, contoured base.

    The second hand stone from the workshop of the Tyrolean master craftsman is similar: a mineral and stone hill on a semi-circular carved gilt base. Here too can be found smoky quartz, pieces of marble, a typically tapered actinolite, polished carnelian and fossilised coral and mussels. On the top is a large figure with a tall hat, its face and hands made of ivory or bone.

    Both hand stones are on loan from the Spängler bank in Salzburg.

  • Winged altarpiece from the Frey collection

    A particularly valuable exhibit from the Gothic Room of the Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang is the winged altarpiece from the Frey collection. The first item from the Frey collection, it was acquired by friends of the museum in 2008 and then donated to it. Carl von Frey (1826-1896) was a successful businessman who, in the second half of the 19th century, assembled Salzburg’s largest private collection of Gothic art.

    The altarpiece was probably built around 1520 in Lower Bavaria. The shrine, predella and wings are made in spruce and the sculptures in lime wood. The wings are painted on both sides. The interior shows St. Barbara and St. Margaret, each on a gold brocade background. The exterior shows the Annunciation. Below it, on the predella, is Jesus making a blessing gesture and holding a globe, along with the 12 apostles.

    The shrine or ‘retable’ has been preserved more or less in its original state. Mary is standing in the centre of the base with the Infant Jesus. At her feet is a crescent moon. To the left and right of the Mother of God are St. Mary Magdalene and St. Catherine.

    Mary corresponds to the Apocalyptic style of Madonnas with the golden rays on the back wall of the shrine symbolising the sun. Mary carries the lively, cross-legged Infant Jesus on her right arm, who is reaching with both arms towards his mother. In her left hand the Madonna holds a fruit which her child is trying to grab.

    The Blessed Mother’s robes consist of a golden dress gathered below the chest with a round neckline and golden sleeves. A golden mantle hangs on her shoulders, the blue lining of which is visible in the drapery.

    Folds fall in long lanes down to the base. Her oval-shaped, harmonious face with its high forehead is framed by open strands of hair that spill loosely onto the shoulders. The Madonna is wearing a leafy crown.

    St. Catherine, occupying the place of honour on the right side of the Mother of God, holds a sword in her left hand. There is a broken wheel at her feet – a symbol of martyrdom. In her right hand she is presenting an open book. On her head is a simple gold crown. The rich folds of her golden mantle reveal its green lining as if swept up by a gust of wind.

    To the left of the Blessed Mother is St. Mary Magdalene. She is wearing a veil placed carefully on her shoulders and holding a golden, tapered anointing vessel with both hands.

    The winged altarpiece from the Frey collection was exhibited in Salzburg in 1888 at the 40th anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s coronation.

    The oldest representation of an Apocalyptic Madonna is the Crescent Moon Madonna in Hortus Delicarium by Herrad of Landsberg. The image of the Crescent Moon Madonna goes back to the account of John’s vision of a cosmic, pregnant woman crowned with stars and clothed by the sun with the moon beneath her feet, who is menaced by a dragon following an apocalyptic battle between the dragon and the Archangel Michael.

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