archiv detaileuropa jagellonica: art and culture in central europe under the reign of the jagiellonian dynasty 1386-1572 in kutná hora (czech republic)

EUROPA JAGELLONICA: Art and Culture in Central Europe under the Reign of the Jagiellonian Dynasty 1386-1572 in Kutná Hora (Czech Republic)

The Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region (GASK) in Kutná Hora is the venue of the first section of the international exhibition project Europa Jagellonica starting on May 20, 2012.

Europa Jagellonica /Art and Culture in Central Europe under the Reign of the Jagiellonian Dynasty/ 1386-1572 is a Czech-German-Polish exhibition project. For the first time in history, the Jagiellonians will be presented as the European dynasty, which strongly influenced art and culture, within the wide international context of Central and East-Central Europe.

The remarkable exhibition project will begin in Kutná Hora. The theme of the Czech section will be "Silver Mining and Art around 1500". The major part of the exhibition will then travel to Warsaw to continue at two venues - the Wawel Royal Castle and the National Museum between October 2012 and January 2013. The theme of the Warsaw exhibition is "The Jagiellonians - European Rulers between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas". Europa Jagellonica will culminate in Potsdam, Germany, from March 2013 until June 2013. The German section theme will be "A Bond of Friendship and Love. Jagiellonian Marriage Policy and the Dynasties of the Holy Roman Empire."

Overall support of the Central Bohemian Region enabled the Czech section of the exhibition to take place in Kutná Hora, where in 1471 the Bohemia estates elected Vladislav II the first Bohemian king from the House of Jagiellon.

The story of the Polish dynasty is rather unique. After the large dynasties (Angevins, Luxembourgs, and Piasts) died out literally "overnight", the Jagiellonians became one of the most powerful dynasties in Central and East-Central Europe. They dominated a vast territory, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic and Black Seas, and their genes have survived in European royal families.

When the Jagiellonians ascended to the Bohemian throne the power of Bohemia was weakened by the papal anathema and internal disputes. The Polish dynasty brought peace and Early Renaissance culture in the Bohemian Lands. Prague lost its prominence as the capital of Central Europe and was replaced by Krakow.

At the same time, cosmopolitan art and education returned to Prague Castle. The Vladislav Hall at Prague Castle is the best-known architectural manifestation of the Jagiellonian power. Vladislav II was the most famous sovereign, who ruled over both the Catholics and Utraquists and established many legal reforms.

The exhibition gathered works of art that are rarely seen in our lands. With luxurious objects for everyday use on display, the exhibition conception will document life in the Middle Ages. Up to 300 exceptional works of art from the Middle Ages, lent by Czech and European institutions and private owners, will be presented to the visitors.

In addition, richly illuminated manuscripts by the Krakow court painter Stanisław Samostrzelnik, the Prague illuminators Valentin, Matouš, and others will be on display as well as precious charters from royal and municipal chancelleries. Wood and stone sculptures and reliefs originating in the workshops of Veit Stoss, Paul of Levoča, and Peter Vischer the Younger, and the jewels and luxurious objects will outline the lives of nobles and the art of the craftsmen at that time.

More than one hundred and twenty institutions and private owners have generously provided their works of art. The international institutions include: Madrid, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum; Paris, Bibliothéque National de France; London, British Museum; Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; Berlin, Staatliche Museen; Oxford, Bodleian Library; Toronto, Ontario Art Gallery; as well as collection-based institutions in Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, and many others.

Regarding the Czech lenders, we have had excellent cooperation with the Prague Archiepiscopate and Dominik Duka. Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia, Jan Graubner, Archbishop of Olomouc, and many other episcopates, deaneries, and parish offices. In particular, great support was received from Jan Uhlíř, Archdeacon of St. James' Church in Kutná Hora.

Many exhibits have also been loaned by the National Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the National Heritage Institute, the National Gallery in Prague, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the National Archives, the National Library, the Archives and the City of Prague Museum, the Aleš South Bohemian Gallery in Hluboká nad Vltavou, and many others.

The author of the exhibition Jiří Fajt builds upon his previous successful project "Charles IV - Emperor by the Grace of God" in 2005-2006, which took place at Prague Castle and the Metropolitan Museum in New York and attracted more than 250,000 visitors. Jiří Javůrek of the SGL Projekt is the author of the architectural design. The visuals, logos, and the exhibition graphics were carried out by Pavel Lev of the Najbrt Studio.


The Europa Jagellonica exhibition will be open daily May 20 through September 30, 2012:

Monday to Sunday 10am-6pm. In case of great interest the exhibition will extend its hours until 8pm.



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