curator: Mgr. Alena Volrábová
The year 2007 marks the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Václav Hollar, and likewise the three hundred and thirtieth anniversary of his death. Václav Hollar belongs to the far from extensive category of the great Czech artists of past ages who are known to – and admired by – a wide range of international artistic experts as well as by the general public at home and abroad. For nearly all Czechs, his name has become almost synonymous with the graphic arts.
It has already been twenty-two years since the last large-scale exhibition of Hollar has been organised, held in 1983 in collaboration with the British Museum in London. The previous show displayed both his drawings as well as his prints arranged in chronological order. The catalogue published for this exhibit was, for its time, relatively extensive and still serves as a valuable research source, yet nonetheless research has considerably progressed in the past decades, and the demands placed on such publications have similarly increased.
At the centre of our conception of the present exhibition are two requirements: first, to display once again the essential part of Hollar’s oeuvre as a unified body of work, and secondly, to issue a new and representative catalogue. It is our intent to draw predominantly on the holdings of the National Gallery’s prints department, which unquestionably contains a sufficiency of display items in terms of Hollar’s graphic work. Regarding his sketches, however, we are confronted with the considerably limited presence of work from the second part of his artistic career, and in this area we have had to rely on works on loan. The exhibition catalogue is expected to be of medium length.
An entire floor has been set aside for the exhibition in the renowned Baroque Kinský Palace, where the interior spaces are particularly suited for the presentation of small-format artworks requiring an intimate atmosphere. In turn, the domestic scale of the palace interiors allows for the ensemble of work to be divided into smaller units representing individual periods of creation.