Saint Vaclav and Saint Vitus

Franz Anton Palko

  • Saint Vaclav and Saint Vitus 2
  • Saint Vaclav and Saint Vitus 3
Basic information
Franz Anton Palko
Saint Vaclav and Saint Vitus
Date of creation
18th c.
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
37.5 x 34.5
Information about author
Franz Anton Palko
Artist's lifetime
Franz Anton Palko was one of Paul Troger's most accomplished and successful followers. The artist was born in Wroclaw, but his family moved to Bratislava. The Bishop of Olomouc, Ferdinand Julius von Troyer, recognised his talent and invited the artist to work in his residence. The master had to accompany the bishop when he moved to Brno. After the death of his patron, the painter left the city and first moved to Dresden and later to Vienna. Franz Anton Palko was among the significant representatives of the late Baroque in Central Europe. Although the artist specialised primarily in portraits, he also performed altar compositions. Contemporaries admired Franz Anton Palko's works, especially portraits, for their colourful and expressive style.
Object description
Saints Vaclav and Vitus are depicted in this small work, which was created as a sketch for a side altarpiece in the Rotunda of the Finding of the Holy Cross in Prague. St. Vitus is kneeling on a cloud, holding the Holy Scriptures and a rooster, his traditional attributes. Above his head is an angel who brought a palm branch, a symbol of great martyrdom. St. Vaclav is depicted below in the image of a holy warrior in armour, to whom one of the angels hands a spear. The work was executed in an expressive and pastose manner, typical of the artist. It belongs to Franz Anton Palko's late period of creativity when he returned to Vienna. An oil sketch for another side altar depicting St. Teresa and St. Francis is also in the Borys Voznytskyi Lviv National Art Gallery collection.