In the Shadow of Karel Škréta. Prague Painters in 1635–1680

Štěpán Vácha – 
Radka Heisslerová
Ve stínu Karla Škréty. Pražští malíři v letech 1635–1680: Antonín Stevens – Jan Bedřich Hess – Matěj Zimprecht

[In the Shadow of Karel Škréta. Prague Painters in 1635–1680. Anton Stevens – Johann Friedrich Hess – Matthias Zimprecht]

Prague, Academia, 2017; 662 pages, 280 colour photos, hardcover, ISBN 978-80-200-2801-3

In Czech language with an extensive English summary.

Painting in 17th century in Bohemia is generally associated with Karel Škréta (ca. 1610 – 1674) who is considered to be a major protagonist of the new, i.e. Baroque style in the country. Nevertheless, to admit such importance it is necessary to get known also with Škréta’s hitherto underestimated contemporaries active in Prague and Bohemia such as Anton Stevens (ca. 1608 – ca. 1675), Johann Friedrich Hess (ca. 1622 – 1673) and Matthias Zimprecht (1624–1680), born in Munich and 1650s trained in Italy. The recently issued book presents their lives and works, social and professional status, their paintings are discussed in mutual relations and to Škréta’s oeuvre.

Detail of the Ceiling Painting by Anton Stevens in the Sommerhouse of Strahov Monastery, ca. 1661

Beside this, early baroque painting production in Prague is evaluated in its institutional and development continuity with regard to the religious and social-political changes during the first half of 17th century, traditionally negative valuated in the Czech art historiography. In adition, a special attention is paid to social-economic aspects of artistic business (guild organization, painters’ training and career, salaries and properties) and to the rank of Prague as an artistic metropolis for Bohemia and Central Europe.

The Carmelite Ven. Denis Perronet by Matthias Zimprecht, Our Lady of Victory Church in the Lesser Town of Prague, 1679

The book contains a set of studies followed by complete oeuvre catalogues of all three artists accompanied with edition of archival sources and plates. All discussed paintings are published in colours, the most intriguing details are presented in close-up view in order to get acquainted with the painters’ individual styles.

The Annunciation by Johann Friedrich Hess in Pilgrimage Church of Our Lady in Stará Boleslav, 1664

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