Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200–1550
A newly conceived exhibition of mediaeval and early Renaissance art was opened in November 2000 in the authentic environment of the first convent of the Poor Clares in Bohemia, probably founded in 1231 by St Agnes of Bohemia, the daughter of Přemysl Otakar I.
The first part of the exhibition on the first floor traces the development of Czech art from the panel paintings and sculptures of the mid-14th century (Master of the Vyšší Brod altar, Master of the Michle Madonna) and the "soft" style of Master Theodoric, to the paintings of the Master of the Třeboň Altar and those executed in the International style (St Vitus Madonna, St Peter of Slivice, variant of the Krumlov Madonna). While Bohemia and Prague were important European art centres during the 14th century and around the year 1400, in the 15th century they were more inclined to receive external stimuli (Master of the St George Altar, Master of the Puchner ark, Master of the Litoměřice altar). Bohemian and Moravian works from the 15th and early 16th centuries are confronted with works from other Central European regions with which Bohemia enjoyed close cultural ties at that time. The painting of the Madonna and Child by Master IW thus finds a common dialogue with a work on the same theme by Saxon artist Lucas Cranach the Elder. The venerable Master of the Lamentation of Christ from Žebrák is represented at the exhibition with key works documenting the high standard of carving in Southern Bohemia, whilst the influence of the Danube school (for example, the painting by Albrecht Altdorfer) is reflected in the work of Master IP.
Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia
One of the oldest and most important Gothic buildings in Prague, the Na Františku monastery, is named after its founder, the Přemyslid princess St. Agnes (ca 1211–1282), canonized in 1989. Agnes of Bohemia, daughter of Ottokar I and Constance of Hungary, was an exceptional figure whose importance reaches beyond the borders of Bohemia. She founded her monastery with the help of the royal family at the beginning of the 1230s and entered it soon after to become its abbess. The Na Františku monastery was the first double convent of Poor Clares and Friars Minor in the trans-Alpine region, but it was also meant as the Přemyslid family necropolis. It was the site of a royal coronation, witness to royal funerals and the final resting place of Agnes of Bohemia. Because of its importance, it was declared a national cultural monument in 1970.
The compound’s ground floor houses the self-guided tour of the history of the double convent and its founder. It also contains the lapidarium in the convent of Poor Clares (black kitchen and the refectory) and the convent of Friars Minor (cloister) which includes an important collection of architectural fragments from the monastery’s several building phases, as well as altar consecration plaques and tombstones. Both convent gardens with the exhibition routes through the convent’s architecture and sculptures by leading Czech artists are open to the public for free all year long.
Garden Opening hours
March–May & September–October: 10 am–6 pm
June–August: Sunday–Thursday 10 am–10 pm & Friday–Saturday 10 am–12 pm
November–February: 10 am–4 pm
In case of inclement weather, the gardens are closed.
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Entrances: Na Františku Street or Anežská Street
Metro B – Náměstí Republiky.
Tram 6, 8, 15, 26 – Dlouhá třída.
Tram 17 – Právnická fakulta.
Bus 207 – Dlouhá třída.