Prague, March 2 (CTK) – Works of art of Mannerist courts, from the collections at castles and chateaux of Bohemia and Moravia, are on display at the Mars and Venus exhibition that started in Prague Castle’s Picture Gallery yesterday as the opening event of the 2017 Renaissance Nobility Year.
The Renaissance Nobility Year, organised by the Czech Heritage Institute (NPU), will continue with further exhibitions and cultural programmes at about 40 castles and chateaux in the months to come, Dagmar Snajdarova, from the NPU, told CTK.
She said the Mars and Venus exhibition offers paintings by artists from the court of Prague-seated Habsburg Emperor Rudolph II (King of Bohemia in 1576-1611) as well as masterpieces of the Dutch, French and German fine arts.
“Most of them are the works that the generous collectors from noble families such as the Wallensteins, Schwarzenbergs, Pallavicinis, Kinskys, Blumegens or Czernin-Morzins gained in the course of the past centuries,” Snajdarova said.
The exhibition is named after one of the exhibits, Hendrick van Balen’s painting Mars and Venus Surprised by Gods.
It runs through the end of April.
The NPU continues with its several-year project focusing on noble families, within which it highlights the most important aristocratic and ruling dynasties that determined the Czech state’s history for centuries.
This year, the period in focus is Renaissance because several significant anniversaries fall on 2017, such Martin Luther’s promotion of his theses against the Catholic Church in 1517 and the coronation of Habsburg Ferdinand I as King of Bohemia.
In 1627, the Habsburg sovereign started a tough counter-Reformation and recatholicisation course in the Czech Lands.