- Matthias Frehner
(b Pfronten-Ried, nr Füssen, June 25, 1716; d Einsiedeln, Feb 9, 1799).
Swiss sculptor of German birth. He was apprenticed to the sculptor Peter Heel (1696–1767), but in 1732, after his father died, Babel became an itinerant journeyman sculptor. He appears to have moved gradually southwards, possibly drawn by the chance to study at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna and by the far greater number of commissions to be found there, from both secular and ecclesiastical patrons. In collaborating on large-scale decorative commissions, Babel would not only have acquired a solid training as a sculptor in stone and stucco but would also have learnt the stylistic vocabulary of international Baroque. A particularly strong early influence was the stuccowork of Francesco Carlone (1674–1750), with whom Babel probably collaborated.
In 1742 Babel settled in Mimmenhausen, residence of the leading Rococo sculptor Josef Anton Feuchtmayer. Here he made his first appearance as an independent master when he presented Abbot ...