The tryptich of Rudolf Leitner-Gründberg «Die Berührung der Welt»
Marilena Streit-Bianchi

The gigantic and magnificent triptych of Rudolf Leitner-Gründberg "Die Berührung der Welt" (A contact with the world) enlightens in all his splendour the path of his artistic career. It is a monumental manifestation of his beliefs.

"Die Berührung der Welt-Die Erzählung der Dinge" - The history of things

This painting is a tribute to a time and to personalities with whom the artist is grateful: Eleanor of Aquitaine1), Bernard de Clairvaux2), Suger3). These renowned people1) lived in the XII Century, innovated and promoted art and music, had the courage to indicate a new way of living, and stood for a new spirituality so paving the way to progress that rapidly spread all around Europe. The artist (Ich) is part of the painting thus underlining affinity and respect. He also wishes to be a promoter of a different way of thinking and conceiving ART, where aesthetics, gold and colours are at the forefront. In that painting a mirror is spreading the illumination and the symbolic crown is present. The roses are the queenly flowers, symbols of true love.

"Die Berührung der Welt-Der Garten" - The garden

Like in an incipit, the music of nature and the colours of life, and the dancing butterflies, bring calm to the spirit, a calm necessary to reach a high level of consciousness where beauty is rendered visible and we can appreciate the vastness of the universe and a timeless enlightenment. Daisies, a symbol of virtue and truth, emanate from the sun's rays. The mind freed from hindrances, reaches a well-being and serenity, and fills our spirit with new and positive energy.

"Die Berührung der Welt-Was bleibt" - What remains

This immense symbolic painting is dominated by the concern the artist has for the environment today, which has been harmed by resource depletion, pollution, deforestation, and overconsumption. A giant tree is a dominating element. On his right a small yellow flower of the "Tussilago farfara" that is the first to spring from winter is next to a small tree without leaves waiting for the awakening of life. At the bottom of the giant tree is a symbolic crystal quartz rock. In ancient Greece, rock crystal was believed to be ice that had been frozen by the Gods, and is popularly believed to absorb and control energy. For the artist, this is a link of non-living matter with the living world as represented by the tree. The tree has an intricate outer bark for protection, its roots are invisible, deeply rooted in the soil. A reflection of a figure is standing by the tree. It is the trace which remains of a person who walked by, a permanent image in time, left as a reflection of his actions, of his travels on earth, and of his emotions.

1) Aliénor (Eleanor) of Aquitaine, a free, high spirit and praised for her beauty. A woman of the XII Century, well educated, she knew Latin, music, literature and was also able to hunt and ride horses. Queen Consort of French and English kings, when living in Poitiers her court encouraged the troubadours, chivalry and probably also courtly love.
2) Bernard de Clairvaux, a mystic and spiritual monk who firmly established the Cistercian monastic order. Cistercians played a large part in the economic progress of the 12th century and in the development of the techniques of farming and marketing. He claimed that reason shall recognize that is infinitely deep and incomprehensible in divine things.
3) Suger, the Abbot, the earliest patron of a new style,"Opus modernum, or Opus francigenum", (called thereafter Gothic art and architecture with new iconography) and on which he based the rebuilding of the Church of Saint Denis, the burial church of the French monarchs. He was the advisor to the French kings Louis VI and VII and the foremost historian of his time, an able statesman and administrator; he modernized the administration of justice.

©Marilena Streit Bianchi, Vienna 2018