Johannes Aquila, Conrad Gaal
A painter from Radkersburg, Styria. His earliest works known were the frescos of the church of Velemér, made in 1378. He also painted his self-portrait here. He painted the frescos of the church of Bántornya in 1383, 1389 and maybe in 1393. At Mártonhely, besides the signatures of the frescos, a sign calls him the master of the church, built in 1392. He painted his self-portrait here, as well. Fragments of his frescos (together with his signature) survived from the church of Augustine hermits in Fürfstenfeld, Styria. At his birthplace, Radkersburg, wall-paintings were found in a house at 30 Main street, which may be in connection with his style. the rotunda of Nagytótlak was presumably painted by the students of his workshop. This style was influenced by Czech and North Italian painting. His self-portraits were the earliest artist-portraits in Europe.
In 1357 Louis I exempted Conrad, bell casting master, and his two brothers from paying tax, as a gift for the casting of the great bell of Visegrád. Master Conrad then settled down in Igló, in the Szepesség. He had his deed of gift rewritten in Lőcse in 1364 and in 1369 he made his testament in front of the chapter of Szepes. We know his full name from this document. Master Conrad's workshop was taken over by his student, János Weygel of Igló some time after 1379. He was mentioned by sources between 1386 and 1426. In the second quarter of the 15th century one of Conrad Gaal's nephews, Michael Gaal continued casting bells. The workshop must have been functioning till 1516. Master Conrad's only work, which was identified, was the great bell of Visegrád, mentioned in the 1357 charter. The fragments of its casting pits and moulds were found in the lower castle of Visegrád. On later works of the workshop in the Szepesség we can see the influence of the model of the Visegrád casting mould.