Troger first tackled the abbey’s church, covering its vaulted ceilings, domes, and altars with dramatic biblical scenes. The crown jewel is the ornate fresco that fills the room’s main cupola. Across its broad surface, God rumbles with various forces of evil; he and an army of archangels launch arrows and lightning at an angry throng of devils, a many-headed monster, and even a fire-breathing dragon.
The striking library also boasts a series of Troger’s masterpieces, nestled between the room’s spectacular blue Corinthian columns and deep red marble cornices. Troger’s painted domes depict characters like Divine Wisdom, and biblical moments like Solomon receiving the Queen of Sheba. The room is often touted as one of the globe’s most impressive libraries.
Troger is at his most creative, however, when he strays from religious scenes. Similar to the crypt fresco, his work in the abbey’s sala terrena (or “earth room”) is delightfully fantastical. On one wall, a jaunty man is perched under a parasol within a lush jungle of plant life. Above him, a flock of eccentrically clad ladies and gentleman fly around the periwinkle sky on large, beautiful birds. While this isn’t heaven, in the biblical sense, it’s certainly paradise. Troger excelled a this type of dreamy composition: frescoes that surrounded viewers in an aura of drama and buoyancy that have inspired wonder for centuries.