Today, the original colours of decorated stonework are often not easy to identify at first glance, even though it was a very common and widespread tradition, stretching from the beginning of the Classical period through the Middle Ages and right up to modern era, to create more lively and expressive pieces. In the 19th century in particular, the catastrophic trend to strip all types of objects back to their basic material meant that countless works of art were robbed of their polychrome in order to bring the building material, usually stone, to the fore. Nowadays, restorers use scalpels, magnifying glasses and microscopes to search meticulously for the remains of the original versions so that they can document, preserve and – in some cases – reconstruct the objects.

Knowledge of the pigments and binding material used is the basic requirement for a serious examination of the object from an art history perspective, using these important artistic and conservation techniques.

Related projects

Montecuccoli Mausoleum, Hafnerbach Cemetery, Lower Austria


Brick walls with artificial stone decorations and cornicing, polychrome design, Art nouveau, 1913

Imperial toll house, Stein an der Donau, Lower Austria


Facade from 1536, stone and plaster polychrome (fresco restoration Jörg Riedel)

Fireplace, Schallaburg Castle, Schallaburg, Lower Austria


Fireplace, polychrome glazed, around 1600

Nativity Scene by Michael Powolny, Klosterneuburg Monastery, Lower Austria


Glazed art nouveau ceramic nativity scene, consisting of 13 parts, 1920

Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Vienna

2003 - 2009

Largest Russian Orthodox cathedral outside of Russia, Architect: G. I. Kotov, 19th century

Washing fountain, Grafenegg Palace, Grafenegg, Lower Austria


Washing fountain made of baked clay, polychrome glaze, around 1900

Portal Facade, Styrian Armory, Graz, Styria


Main gate with polychrome coat of arms and the statues of “Mars” and “Minerva”, 1642 - 1644

Nepomuk Chapel, Grafenegg Palace, Grafenegg, Lower Austria


Nepomuk polychrome and guardian statues, zogelsdorfer limestone

Pilgrims Church, Maria Jeutendorf, Lower Austria


Baroque wooden sculpture, larger than life size, incorporated into facade

Medieval Pillar, Klosterneuburg Collegiate Church, Lower Austria


Fresco on exposed pillar, 12th century

Ölberg, Pöchlarn, Wachau, Lower Austria


Late Gothic relief, limestone, polychrome (145 x 72 cm), 1430

Descent from the Cross, Spitz, Lower Austria


Late Gothic relief, limestone, polychrome (120 x 120 cm), ca. 1500

Christ on the Cross, Raasdorf, Lower Austria


Christ on the Cross, new polychromy, 1920

Neo-Gothic Madonna with Child, Stuckgasse, Vienna

2011 - 2015

Neo-Gothic Madonna with Child – Loretto sandstone, after 1832

Further references

Title Location Client Year Technologies
Gothic facade, Wienerstraße 5Herzogenburg, Lower Austria Dr. Hannes Gruber 1989
Town Hall, plaster, stucco, stone, paintingSt. Pölten, Lower Austria Magistrate of St. Pölten 1996
Old Mill, Monastery of Zwettl, plaque on bridgeZwettl Monastery, Lower Austria Monastery of Zwettl 1990
Art Nouveau fountain and wall decor, old hospital TullnTulln, Lower Austria GEDESAG Krems 2001
Parish church, tower clocks, FrescoSpitz, Lower Austria Parish of Spitz 1988
Hohenwarth Parish church, facade with FrescoHohenwarth, Lower Austria Archdiocese of Vienna 1990
Descent from the Cross, Spitz, around 1500Spitz, Lower Austria Municipality of Spitz, Wachau 2006
Lesehof, house coat of arms, HohensteinstraßeKrems, Lower Austria Steiner family 1992
Chapel Windisch Baumgarten, FrescoWindisch Baumgarten, Lower Austria Municipality of Zistersdorf 1993
Fixed cross at church, gilded, baseEichhorn, Lower Austria Parish of Zistersdorf 1995
Palace of Weinschlössl, concept, Attica and FrescoDürnstein, Lower Austria Freie Weingärtner Wachau 2000
St. Nepomuk under canopySpitz, Lower Austria Municipality of Spitz 1991
House coat of arms of Maria Hilf, Althangasse 1Krems, Lower Austria Dr. Elisabeth Hackl 1992
St. Nepomuk Rehberg at KremsbrückeKrems Rehberg, Lower Austria Magistrate of Krems 1997
Pieta, polychrome fixedHauskirchen, Lower Austria Municipality of Hauskirchen 2001
St. Nepomuk on base, 1819Bad Pirawarth, Lower Austria Municipality of Bad Pirawarth 2002
St. J. Nepomuk fixed, Stadtgraben, 18th centuryTulln, Lower Austria Municipality of Tulln 2004
Art Nouveau character, stucco fixedMünzgasse, Vienna Alfred Umdasch private trust 2012

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