Curator: Ondřej Chrobák, the National Gallery in Prague
Exhibition of the National Gallery in Prague / Collection of Graphic Art and Drawing / prepared in cooperation with the Prague Castle Administration
The exhibition is held under the auspices of the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus.
The National Gallery in Prague free admission policy does not apply to this exhibition
NOTICE: The exhibition will be closed on Monday 24. 12.
Today’s exhibition seeks not only to present Mikoláš Aleš’s artwork, but also to follow the Aleš legend that has been an inextricable part of his work’s reception. Respect for Aleš and his renown stemmed from the artistic qualities of his work and equally, or perhaps even more so, from other extra-artistic aspects. For example, young Art Nouveau artists from the Mánes society, modernists from the Group of Artists, the local branch of the Umělecká Beseda association and members of the creative group Máj 57 all gradually claimed to be his followers. Aleš’s artistic legacy and moral example were updated when an independent Czechoslovakia was declared and updated again in the late 1930s under the Nazi threat, during the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, in the years of post-war reconstruction and then by the nationalist-conservative stream of socialist realism. The general public still primarily associates Aleš with the school-taught epithets such as “the artist of his people” or “the poor painter went out to see the world” from a poem by Jaroslav Seifert. His conflicts with the Committee for the Completion of the National Theatre or his friend František Ženíšek over authorship of the compositions in the theatre’s foyer are as well known as his lunettes with the Homeland cycle painted for the National Theatre or the historical painting George of Poděbrady Meets Matthias Corvinus.
The exhibition will offer a chronological and panoramic review of Aleš’ work. Encompassing his paintings, cartoons (preparatory paintings), illustrations and monumental designs for architecture, it seeks not to destroy myths or legends, but rather to emphasize the multi-layered context in which our reception of Aleš’s life and work has taken place.
The exhibition, based on the extensive collection of the National Gallery in Prague, is complemented with artworks loaned from the Museum of Czech Literature, the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the West Bohemian Gallery in Plzeň, the Gallery of Arts in Ostrava and other institutions and private collections.
Entrance: Full 140 Kč / Reduced 70 Kč / Family 210 Kč