From Bavaria to Bohemia a joint exhibition will show Baroque art in a new light

The international exhibit will put the era into context and should be one of the significant cultural events of the year.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 22.04.2022 14:21:00 (updated on 24.04.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Czech National Museum and the House of Bavarian History in Regensburg are preparing a joint exhibition on the Baroque era in Bavaria and Bohemia that will take place next year. The two institutions signed the cooperation agreement on its preparation in Prague yesterday.

In the Baroque era in the 17th and 18th centuries, the two countries had strong relations at various levels and were shaped by many cross-border influences. The exhibition project will focus on the essential moments of common history. It will show Baroque not only as an artistic epoch connecting the regions. It aims to present the structural splendor, dynamism, and passions of this time as well as the abyss of the Thirty Years' War and numerous crises.

It will include about 200 works of art from public and church institutions and private collections in Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as from Austria, the Netherlands, and other countries.

This will be the second Bavarian-Czech joint exhibition after the 2016 exhibition on Emperor Charles IV. A cooperation agreement was signed by National Museum general director Michal Lukeš, and House of Bavarian History director Richard Loibl. Also present for a friendly meeting about joint cultural cooperation were Czech Culture Minister Martin Baxa and German Secretary for Science and Art Markus Blume.

“The inhabitants of both countries have been interconnected for centuries. A good example of this interconnectedness can be seen, for example, in the case of the Czech-Bavarian regional exhibition dedicated to Emperor Charles IV on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of his birth. Now, after six years, we are about to embark on another important joint project that will give new impulses to deepen our cooperation,” Baxa said.

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House of Bavarian History director Richard Loibl and National Museum general director Michal Lukeš. Photo: NM
House of Bavarian History director Richard Loibl and National Museum general director Michal Lukeš. Photo: NM

Germany’s Blume said cultural cooperation is a central pillar of his country’s European peace architecture. “I am proud that we are further intensifying the Bavarian-Czech cultural exchange with the joint regional exhibition and that we are raising awareness of the diverse connections between Bavaria and the Czech Republic,” he added.

Lukeš said the exhibition is an example of extremely important international cooperation for the National Museum.

House of Bavarian History. Photo: Wikimedia commons, H.Helmlechner, CC BY-SA 4.0
House of Bavarian History. Photo: Wikimedia commons, H.Helmlechner, CC BY-SA 4.0

“It will result in a compelling and interesting portrait of the Baroque period as a time of amazing cultural achievements and revolutionary social and political events for both regions in the heart of Europe,” Lukeš said.

“The exhibition focuses on significant moments in our common history and presents them in context. I am proud that the National Museum is a co-organizer of this exceptional event and I believe it will become a major international cultural event next year,” Lukeš added.

Lukeš added that in many respects, Baroque is similar in both regions, but it may be perceived differently on either side of the border, which is a source of excitement and inspiration. The organizers will collaborate with experts and several universities from both regions.

Interior of the National Museum in Prague. Photo: iStock, majaiva.
Interior of the National Museum in Prague. Photo: iStock, majaiva.

Baxa and Blume also reminded people that this is the 30th anniversary of a good neighborhood agreement signed by Czechoslovakia and Germany in February 1992.

“I can only confirm that the Czechs and Germans are no longer just good neighbors. We are friends and we look to the future together and with confidence. The cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Free State of Bavaria has always been very exemplary for me, and I am pleased that it has developed over the years in a number of areas, including culture,” Baxa said.

The joint exhibition will first be on view from May 2023 to September 2023 in the House of Bavarian History in Regensburg. From November 2023 to May 2024 it will take its turn at the National Museum in Prague.

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