Place: Schwarzenberg Palace
This year, Schwarzenberg Palace’s Permanent Collection of Baroque art was enriched with a valuable acquisition – one of the most famous portraits of Bohemian Baroque painting: the Portrait of Humprecht Jan Černín of Chudenice by Karel Škréta that was purchased from the Lobkowicz Collections in Mělník. This painting is not only a masterpiece in its own right, but also a testimonial to Černín’s interest in the work of Karel Škréta.
Count Humprecht Jan Černín (1628–1682) was a learned and well-travelled nobleman with a European outlook and broad cultural interests. He was recognized as an avid art connoisseur and a patron of magnificent architecture. This small display presents Count Černín as a Baroque cavalier of international stature. Examined here is his passion for art collecting and his life-long enchantment with Italy, namely Venice, where he repeatedly lived during his journeys as a young aristocrat and later as an imperial envoy. The years spent in Venice were of crucial importance for Černín’s artistic orientation. This is where the core of his magnificent art collection was formed that ranked among the most valuable picture galleries in the Czech lands. It was in Venice that Count Černín purchased some of Škréta’s early Italian works and soon after returning from Venice, he had himself portrayed by the famous artist.
In the first half of the 1630s, Karel Škréta also lived and worked in Venice. His intimate acquaintance with Venetian art had a profound impact and lasting influence on his oeuvre.
Through its display of graphic sheets, the exhibition explores Humprecht Jan Černín as an important figure of his day, as well as the forms of his representation and the imposing palace he was building at Hradčany. Other prints show 17th-century Venice as an attractive centre of the arts and culture. Contemporary art collecting pursuits and the artist Karel Škréta are also explored.
Cabinet of Prints and Drawing
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