The Fresco Oil Paintings Above the Side Altars
The fresco oil paintings, which flank either side of the sanctuary above the side altars, were signed and dated 1867 by Wenceslaus Thein and William Lamprecht, Cincinnati, Ohio. The painting on the left depicts the Epiphany of the Lord (the visit of the thee kings); the one on the right depicts Jesus, Mary, Joseph and St. Anne in Joseph's carpenter shop. Their frames are actually part of the paintings.
The renewal of mural painting had been the rage in Europe for several decades when it finally began to flourish during the 1850s in the United States and brought numerous European painters to North-America.
Wilhelm (William) Lamprecht (1838-1922), studied at the Art Academy in Munich. He came in the early summer of 1867 to the United States, settled first in Cincinnati, Ohio, and started a collaboration with the Benedictine "Covington Altar Stock Building Company" which lasted until his departure for New York in 1871. Other painters who worked with the Company were, amongst others, Johann Schmitt (1825- 1898) and Wenceslaus Thien (1838 -1912), the latter specializing in ornamental painting.
During the four years that Lamprecht was associated with the Company, he did not limit his activities to Cincinnati but also worked in several other places. One of the first contracts was for Saint Mary's Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he painted and signed two murals in 1867: the Epiphany of the Lord (the visit of the three kings) and the Holy Family in Joseph's carpenter shop in Nazareth. He was active in and around Cincinnati, at Saint Mary's Church of the Benedictine Newark Abbey, N.J., and at Saint-Romuald in Levis in the Province of Quebec.
Lamprecht would become one of the most prolific and sought-after painters of religious art in the north-eastern United States. He contributed works, both murals and oil paintings, to numerous religious institutions, often in collaboration with the architects Franz Georg Himpler and William Schickel.
Some of the churches where Lamprecht was active:
Chicago, Illinois: Holy Name Cathedral (43 murals, destroyed in 1968/69).
Cincinnati, Ohio: Old Saint Mary's Church; Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Mount Joseph Motherhouse of the
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Saint Francis of Assisi Church.
New York, N.Y.: Saint Francis Xavier Church; Most Holy Redeemer Church.
New York, Yonkers: Saint Joseph's Seminary.
Amityville, Long Island, N.Y.: Dominican Sisters, Queen of the Rosary Chapel.
Vincennes, Indiana: Saint Francis Xavier (the Old Cathedral).