History and painting techniques of the sculptures in Ortisei - Val Gardena

The altar construction in Val Gardena flourished around the turn of the century. In the year 1810 worked in Ortisei/Val Gardena, which counted at that time 2248 inhabitants, more than 260 woodcarvers, 85 painters and 40 cabinetmakers in mostly big workshops. The biggest under the painters’ workshops were those of Luis Kostner, Christian Delago, Dominik Moroder, Jakob Trenker, Konrad Skasa, Josef Sondheimer and Adolf Keim.

The altar construction developed very quickly and there were not enough qualified painters in the valley. Therefore, artisans coming from different areas, such as Bohemia and Bavaria, found work in Val Gardena. Since ancient times their art of painting attended the refining of art objects, which gilders further enriched with gold leafs. Besides, big attention was laid on the fact that the paintings are done in the style of the figures in order to create harmonious complete works.


In the last decades this tradition was still maintained. Also Helmut Perathoner’s sculptures are painted according to style direction and wish, gilded, engraved and marbled, glazed with light oil paints or water colours or stained in brown tones. Nowadays religious and profane sculptures are painted and gilded in traditional style as well. Besides, different pigments, tempera and acrylic colours are used. For the completion the figures can be gilded with real gold (22-carat gold leaf).

Angels in antique realization

Primed and painted

Ornament primed and painted

Glazed with light oil colors

Nature with real gold

Stained with different brewing tones

The restoration of statues such as Saints sculptures, altars, Madonnas, crib figures, Christ figures of any style epochs is currently carried out by specialized painters.

Helmuth Perathoner’s priority is to satisfy the customers with his creations.