National Gallery Prague to exhibit Czech masters Mánes and Brandl in 2023

Other NGP exhibition planned for this year will display 19th century watercolors, and significant works from 1939 to the present day.


Written by ČTK Published on 19.01.2023 09:34:00 (updated on 19.01.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Jan. 17 (ČTK) – The National Gallery in Prague (NGP) will stage major exhibitions of Czech painters Josef Mánes (1820–71) and Petr Brandl (1668–1735) in 2023, for the first time in 50 years. The exhibitions will showcase their known as well as lesser-known works, the NGP said today.

The museum announced upcoming projects for 2023, including its representation of contemporary Czech architecture and architectural trends at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice as well as an exhibit organized in collaboration with Bozar ⁠–⁠ Center for Fine Arts Brussels during the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

NGP exhibitions to look forward to in 2023

Further planned projects are the temporary exhibition "Watercolor between Prague and Vienna," and a new permanent exhibition, "1939–2021: End of the Black-and-White Period." The latter will present over 360 items from the NGP collections and complement the permanent exhibition of modern art in the Trade Fair Palace in Prague as of the end of May.

The title "End of the Black-and-White Period" reflects the fact that about half of the current Czech population are eyewitnesses of the pre-1989 totalitarian regime. The exhibition will present a broad range of artistic approaches and show various aspects and transformations of art at the time.

The "Watercolor between Prague and Vienna" exhibition will open in September and present the watercolor method whose development peaked in the 19th century, with Vienna being one of its centers.

The NGP collections include several Austrian watercolor works from that period, as well as Czech painters' works from the times when Prague and Vienna were both parts of one monarchy. The exhibition will highlight links between Austrian and Czech watercolor painting art.

'Country church' by Josef Manes, via NGP
'Country church' by Josef Manes, via NGP

The exhibition "Josef Mánes: Man-Artist-Legend" will open in Prague's Wallenstein Riding School on March 31, and aims to present Mánes's life and extensive work without the veil of usual stereotypes. A significant section of the exhibition will deal with the reception of Mánes's work after his death.

The solo exhibition of the works of Brandl, a significant Baroque painter, will open in the Wallenstein Riding School in October. It will present Brandl's monumental canvasses, portraits, genre paintings, and newly uncovered masterpieces.

The exhibit will also highlight the life of Brandl, who was permanently in debt due to his fondness for luxury and the noble lifestyle. He repeatedly ended up in prison over his debts but still became the highest-paid artist of his time, thanks to his singular style which shares certain parallels with Rembrandt, according to art historians.

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