Lenten Veils (Fastentuecher, also called Hungertuecher ("hunger veils")), curtains that have been used (since the 10th century) to veil altars during Lent, interpreted as a symbol of the separation of the repentant sinner from the Church. Painted Lenten veils were particularly frequent in the Alpine regions of Austria, while embroideries were preferred in Germany. One of the most valuable and artistic Lenten veils in Austria is the one at Gurk painted by Konrad von Friesach in 1458, which is also the largest and oldest of the nine completely preserved Lenten veils in Carinthia. The Lenten veil now exhibited in the Austrian Folklore Museum in Vienna (around 1640) was probably also made in Carinthia. The production of artistic Lenten veils ended with the Age of Enlightenment.
Literature#A. Huber (ed.), 400 Jahre Millstaetter Fastentuch (proceedings), 1993; O. Stary and W. van der Kallen, Das Fastentuch im Dom zu Gurk, 1994.