Exhibition at the Kollegienkirche Salzburg 2022.

The exhibition at the Kollegienkirche Salzburg on the theme of “Giving color to the saints” will be officially opened on Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 2pm. The Straßwalchner artist Rudolf Brudl and Jutta Blühberger from Strobl have intensively studied twelve saints from the Kollegienkirche (university church) in Salzburg. The paintings and texts for the exhibition will be presented here bit by bit.

The Kollegienkirche in Salzburg

The Kollegienkirche (university church) in Salzburg offers an incomparable ambience for an unusual exhibition of contemporary fine art. 

Built by Fischer von Erlach, the church is largely designed in white, which is the union of all colors and thus a symbol of the divine and perfection. Contrary to Erlach’s original plans, the niches are filled with various figures of saints and altars. With one exception (Judas Thaddeus), they stand above the visitors’ eye level and are in dark colors. 


The exhibition “Giving color to the saints”

The exhibition, initiated by Rudolf Brudl, has two goals:

The artists’ work is aimed to bring the lives of these special people closer to the visitor, to make them more colorful and alive, so to speak. On the one hand, the paintings and texts should help to make these saints, some of whom are little or only superficially known, vivid, so that we encounter them as people at eye level. They were all people with faults and weaknesses, but through their relationship with God, they experienced and brought about extraordinary things. On the other hand, each of them had special concerns for which they stood and which are just as relevant today. Even though today’s circumstances are often very different from theirs, there are parallels. Their concerns from centuries past are still relevant in the present, even if the application is different. In dialogue with these saints, we want to be challenged to Christian and social engagement. 

The artworks thus emerge in the tension between the divine perfection reflected in the white sacred building; the dark-colored sculptures of the saints in their exalted position, making them seem alienated and distant to us; and their biographies – demonstrating their human imperfection, but through which we can also discover God’s work in their lives and their relevance for today. 

Selection of Saints

The two visual artists have chosen the following saints.

Rudolf Brudl chose three contemporaries of Jesus and three theologians:

– Joseph of Nazareth (1st century BC – around 16 AD).
– Luke the Evangelist (c. 21 BC – c. 63 AD)
– John the Baptist (c. 5 BC – c. 30 AD)

– Wolfgang of Regensburg (around 924 – 994)
– Anthony of Padua (1195 – 1231)
– Gertrude of Helfta (1256 – 1301/2)

Jutta Blühberger has chosen three mystics and three saints who helped the disadvantaged:

– Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090 – 1153)
– Francis of Assisi (1181/2 – 1226)
– Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582)

– Martin of Tours (c. 316 – 397)
– Leonhard of Limoges (around 500 – 559)
– Ivo Hélory of Kermatin (around 1247 – 1303)

Introductory texts of the saints

The author Jutta Blühberger has intensively studied the lives of these 12 saints. This resulted in the accompanying texts for the exhibition in the style of role-playing poems, in which the saints introduce themselves and consider which of their concerns could still be significant in the 21st century. The style and content of the texts aim to bring the saints to eye level for visitors and make their concerns relevant for today.

You can read or listen to these texts on the following pages. At the exhibition itself, QR codes next to the artworks will link to these pages. We will release the texts and images during the course of October in preparation for the exhibition.

Paintings by Jutta Blühberger
Preview of Jutta Blühberger’s paintings

Cordial invitation to the exhibition

The vernissage (opening) of the exhibition in the Kollegienkirche Salzburg will take place on the last weekend in October and you are cordially invited:

Vernissage (opening): Sunday, October 30, 2022, at 2pm.
Exhibition duration: October 30 – November 20, 2022.

The Kollegienkirche is open every day from 10am – 7pm and the exhibition can be viewed at any time, except during church services or other events. The best lighting in late fall is around noon. The artists will be present at the opening and be also available for questions on weekends around noon.

Related Links

Website Rudolf Brudl

Kollegienkirche in Salzburg