Joseph Gasser von Valhorn
An Austrian sculptor, b. Nov. 22, 1816, at Pragraten, Tyrol; d. Oct. 28, 1900
Gasser von Valhorn, JOSEPH, an Austrian sculptor, b. November 22, 1816, at Pragraten, Tyrol; d. October 28, 1900. He was first instructed by his father, a wood-carver, and later studied at the Academy, Vienna. In 1846 he went to Rome, where a government stipend enabled him to remain several years. On his return he settled in Vienna (1852), and executed five heroic figures for the portal of the cathedral at Speyer: Our Lady, the Archangel St. Michael, St. John the Baptist, St. Stephen, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, completed in 1856. Also in Speyer he carved seven reliefs for the Kaiserhalle. The marble statue of Rudolph IV on the Elizabeth bridge over the Danube Canal, Vienna, is by him. Other works are the statues of Maximilian I, Frederick the Warlike, and Leopold of Hapsburg for the Museum of the Arsenal; the marble statues of the Seven Liberal Arts in the staircase of the Opera House; twenty-four figures for the Cathedral of St. Stephen; the relief of Duke Rudolph the Founder for the New Townhall; the “Prometheus” and the “Genevieve” for the Court Theatre; a number of statues for the Altlerchenfelder Church; busts of Herodotus and Aristarchus for the university; and portraits of Maximilian of Mexico and of his wife the Empress Charlotte. He also made a bust of the Emperor Francis Joseph for the Hotel de Ville, Paris, and sculptures for the new cathedral, Linz. Most important among his works are the subjects for the Votive Church, Vienna, modeled around the year 1873: the Coronation of Mary, the group of the Trinity, a figure of Christ the Redeemer, statues for the high and side altars, nine angels, and the tympan reliefs for the three main portals. Gasser was professor at the Academy from 1865 to 1873, and was inscribed among the nobility in 1879. In spite of his long life, and much good work, he had but small influence on the development of modern sculpture in Austria.
M. L. HANDLEY