Franz Ignaz Günther, sculptor and representative of Bavarian rococo, was born in Altmannstein in 1725. He trained as an artisan in the carpenters' shop of his father, Johann Georg, after which he worked from 1743 to 1750 as a student of Johann Baptist Straub in Munich – who had also taught Franz Anton Bustelli. His subsequent travelling years led Günther to Salzburg, Mannheim and Olomouc in Moravia and finally, in 1753, to the sculpture classes at the academy in Vienna.
Franz Ignaz Günther was regularly commissioned by the church: he created unique furnishings, altars and robed figures. In 1754, he was released from paying certain charges and duties as a so-called "Hofbefreiter" by Elector Max III Joseph. And thus his large porcelain crucifix, one of his masterpieces, was produced by royal commission in the same year. It was destined for the high altar at the Munich residence's Cecilia Chapel. Like the outstanding crucifix by Franz Anton Bustelli created just a few years later, the porcelain crucifix by Ignaz Günther is still produced at Nymphenburg using the original rococo patterns.
Photos: © Bayerisches Nationalmuseum München