etching on wove paper
signed l.r. and dated 1818 l.c. within plate
marked Gio. Bat. Mariani dis. l.l. within plate
14.25 x 13.25 in. (plate); 15 x 14.75 in. (paper)
From The Old Master Print Collection of Johann Petz (Germany, 1818-1880), Descended in the Family of the Artist
Petz was born at Lermoos, Tyrol, in 1818 and showed an early interest in wood carving and drawing. Petz worked as a shepherd for his family as a boy, but fled as a young man to a distant relative in Wildermiemingen to pursue the study of sculpture and drawing, which he did for three and a half years. In 1837, he decided to further his studies in Munich, and by chance he came into contact with the sculptor Konrad Eberhard (German, 1768-1859). Eberhard recognized Petz’s talent and took the young man on as a pupil, and several years later, secured for him a commission for the memorial statue for the famous German scholar Heinrich Klee (1800-1840). Petz’s design outlined a Gothic niche surmounted by a pinnacles and finials, which would house a sandstone sculpture of the Good Shepherd. This marked the beginning of the young artist’s career and established his reputation in Munich.
Petz was influenced by Nazarene and Neo-Gothic movements in Bavaria, otherwise known as the Pre-Raphaelite movement in England. Petz would also go on to receive commissions for churches, altars, and tombstones in England and the United States, and was highly sought after as a sculptor and church designer. Several locations for which he designed churches and their decorations are Cham, Arnschwang, Seeon, Vilsbiburg, Isen, and Riedering. Most notably, he contributed the design for a sculpture of the Last Supper for the Frauenkirche in Munich in 1859, which was regrettably lost in air raids during World War II. During his career Petz also worked with Joseph Otto Entres (Germany, 1804-1870) and Joseph Knabl (Germany, 1819-1881).