Collection of Old Masters

The Collection of Old Masters currently forms the historical core of the NGP, housing, among others, works from Emperor Rudolf II’s legendary Kunstkammer, which include the famous Feast of the Rosary by Albrecht Dürer. Thus, it is unique in representing over 400 years of collecting in Bohemia, which made an important contribution to European culture and museum history.

Rembrandt,-Učenec-ve-studovně,-1634,-NGP.jpg
Rembrandt van Rijn, Scholar in His Study, 1634, NGP

The Collection of Old Masters numbers over 7,000 art items, including a remarkable Bohemian and Central European fund, containing especially from 14th to 16th century works (Master of Vyšší Brod and the Třeboň Altarpiece, Master of the Michle Madonna, Master of the Rajhrad Altarpiece, Master of the Litoměřice Altarpiece, Master of Lamentation from Žebrák, Master IP, Master IW). Furthermore, it houses an important convolution of Early German and Dutch panel paintings (Master of the Well of Life, Hans Holbein the Elder, Lucas Cranach Elder and Younger, Hans Baldung Grien), as well as an Italian Primitive fund, mostly from the collection of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (including Bernardo Daddi and Lorenzo Monaco).

The second part of the artwork collection ⁠–⁠ from Late Renaissance to Classicism ⁠–⁠ stems from an important Baroque lordly collection fund, including the former collections of Berka z Dubé and the Nostitz family. A selection of works from the Rudolphine era to the time of Joseph II makes up a representative sample of Central European and especially Bohemian art (Bartolomeus Spranger, Hans von Aachen, Adrian de Vries, Roelant Savery, Karel Škréta, Michael Willmann, Jan Kryštof Liška, Jan Kupecký, Matthias Bernhard Braun, Petr Brandl, Václav Vavřinec Reiner, František Karel Palko, Norbert Grund, Ignác Platzer). The Austrian and German Baroque painting collection is almost encyclopaedic (Georg Flegel, Jacob Marell, Johann Heiss, Franz Anton Maulbertsch), and the same applies to the Flemish and Dutch painting fund (Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Gerrit Dou, Willem Kalf, Pieter Claesz., Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, Anthony van Dyck). On the other hand, the Italian collection does not represent all the art schools, but it also includes important masterpiece convolutions (Agnolo Bronzino, Domenico Fetti, Sebastiano Ricci, Giambattista Tiepolo). Single artworks showcase aspects of French, Spanish and English art (El Greco, Simon Vouet, Charles Le Brun, Pierre Mignard, Sébastian Bourdon, Goya, Joseph Wright of Derby). The Collection of Old Masters fund may be used to evidence stories about collecting and the context of commissions of Bohemian as well as Central European reference, providing the collection with a great historic importance.
Currently, important works from the Collection of Old Masters are on display in three exhibitions: since 2000, the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia has hosted the installation titled “Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200-1550”; since 2019, there has been an exposition titled “Old Masters” in Schwarzenberg Palace in Hradčany Square, which has displayed selected Renaissance and Baroque art masterpieces, according to the architectural design by Josef Pleskot’s Atelier AP; and as of 2020, in the Sternberg Palace exposition titled “Old Masters II”. Furthermore, the Collection of Old Masters manages two external expositions: one in the Kinsky Chateau in Žďár nad Sázavou, and the other in the picture gallery of the Nostitz Palace (headquarters of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic).
Check the web database of the works and biographical details of the painter Petr Brandl.

Contact

People

Štěpánka Chlumská
Temporary Director of the Collection of Old Masters
PhDr. Tomáš Hladík
Curator of the Collection of Old Masters
PhDr. Olga Kotková, Ph.D.
Curator of the Collection of Old Masters
PhDr. Martina Jandlová Sošková, Ph.D.
Curator of the Collection of Old Masters
PhDr. Andrea Steckerová, Ph.D.
Curator of the Collection of Old Masters

Collection exhibitions

Old Masters Old Masters
  • Schwarzenberg Palace
Old Masters II Old Masters II
  • Sternberg Palace