National Gallery in Prague

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National Gallery in Prague
Národní galerie v Praze
Praha Veletržní palác jih.jpg
Veletržní palác (the Trade Fair Palace) houses
the National Gallery's largest collection of art
Established5 February 1796
TypeArt museum
DirectorJiří Fajt
CuratorAdam Budak
Public transit accessTram stop: Veletržní palác
C Vltavská
Esko Praha logo.svg Praha–Bubny

The National Gallery in Prague (Czech: Národní galerie v Praze) is a state-owned art gallery in Prague, which manages the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic. The collections of the gallery are not housed in a single building, but are presented in a number of historic structures within the city of Prague, as well as other places. The largest of the gallery sites is the Veletržní Palác, which houses the National Gallery's collection of modern art. It is one the largest museums in Central Europe.


Šternberk Palace at Hradčany

The history of the National Gallery dates back to the end of the 18th century (namely February 5, 1796[1]), when a group of prominent representatives of Bohemia patriotic aristocracy (Kolowrat, Sternberg, Nostitz) and middle-class intellectuals decided to elevate what they called the "debased artistic taste" of the local population. The institution, which received the title Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts, established the Academy of Fine Arts and the Picture Gallery. In 1918 the Picture Gallery became a central collection of newly formed Czechoslovakia.

In 1995 new spaces dedicated to 19th- and 20th-century art were opened in the refurbished Veletržní Palác (Trade Fair Palace), itself a national monument as Prague's largest functionalist building and one of the earliest examples of that architectural style in the city (construction began in 1925).

St George's Convent (Hradčany) was formerly used to display Art of the Middle Ages in Bohemia and Central Europe, baroque art, and the 19th-century art of Bohemia.

The collections[edit]

Old Masters[edit]

  • Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia (Old Town) – Art of the Middle Ages in Bohemia and Central Europe
  • Šternberk Palace (Hradčany) – European Art from Antiquity to the end of the Baroque period
  • Schwarzenberg palace (Hradčany) – Baroque in Bohemia

19th-Century Art[edit]

Modern and Contemporary Art[edit]

The atrium in Veletržní palác
  • Veletržní palác (Trade Fair Palace), Holešovice – 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century art, the National Gallery's largest collection. Since 2012 The Slav Epic has been on display here.
The international collection includes numerous works by artists such as Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin, Gauguin, Cézanne, Renoir, Schiele, Munch, Miró and Klimt; many of these are donations from the collection of art historian Vincenc Kramář.
Picasso, who has a spacious room to himself in the gallery, has two self-portraits there, and two of his nudes in addition to more abstract work. Works by Rodin, whose exhibition in Prague in the early 20th century had a profound impact on Czech sculpture for many years afterwards, include a series of busts and full-sized figure on a variety of subjects in the gallery.
The vast collection contains a large number of Czech and Slovak paintings and sculptures, including works by Alfons Mucha, Otto Gutfreund, František Kupka, T. F. Šimon, Tavik Frantisek Simon (1877-1942), Rudolf Fila, Vincenc Beneš and Bohumil Kubišta. Along with the Black Madonna House and the Museum Kampa, the Trade fair palace collection is one of the most notable collections of Czech Cubism in Prague. Notable works include Don Quixote by Gutfreund, Military Funeral by Beneš, an array of paintings by Kupka, covering almost all of the styles with which he experimented and The Slav Epic, a cycle of 20 large canvases by Mucha.

Oriental Art[edit]

  • Kinský Palace (Old Town) – Art of Asia and Art of the Ancient World

On display outside Prague[edit]

  • Kinský castle Žďár nad Sázavou – Baroque Art from the Collections of the National Gallery in Prague
  • Fryštát castle – 19th-century Czech art from the Collections of the National Gallery in Prague


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A brief history". Retrieved 28 October 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°06′05″N 14°25′57″E / 50.1015°N 14.4325°E / 50.1015; 14.4325