THE SLOVENIAN CONNECTION
The exhibition entitled „Johannes Aquila by his hands” is dedicated to the outstanding figure of medieval fresco painting who worked in the Őrség–Muraköz/Medzimurje County–Styria triangle. Two self-portraits are known from Johannes Aquila dating from the late Anjou age (late 14th century), held in high esteem by the curator of the present exhibition as the first preserved artist self-portraits signed by the artist.
Although Aquila is relatively well known, the details of his life are unclear, and the archives have so far remained silent about his life. To judge from his earliest work known to us, the murals of the Trinity Church in Velemér, Vas County in Hungary dated to 1378 (the murals unfortunately do not survive), he was probably born around the middle of the 14th century. On the strength of his first name written as Johannes and the consequent use of the artistic coat of arms, he is likely to have been of German descent, although this has yet to be proved. His surname, also included on the banderole, was probably taken up sometime during his life and refers primarily to his patron saint, Saint John the Evangelist, represented in the iconographic tradition with an eagle (aquila).