The Era of Salons: Czech Salon Art and the International Art Scene 1870–1914

28/09/2022 to 05/03/2023
exhibition hall Masné krámy
Autor: 
Aleš Filip, Roman Musil
Kurátor: 
Eva Skořepová

The exhibition aims to present Czech salon art in the European context, as was common practice in the ‘salons’ of the time between 1870 and 1914.

The exhibition aims to present Czech salon art in the European context, as was common practice in the ‘salons’ of the time between 1870 and 1914.
The exhibition and the accompanying publication will bring to light a hitherto little-known and under-addressed phenomenon of Czech salon art, which was presented at the regular annual exhibitions of the Krasoumná jednota (Kunstverein für Böhmen, Fine Arts Association) in Prague. Following the example of the Parisian salons, they introduced the audience to the art scene in an encyclopaedic scope, from historical and religious painting over the description of the life and manners, anecdotal genre, still life and portraiture to landscape painting. Exhibition juries selected works not only from the Czech lands but also extensively from Europe (Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium, France, Great Britain and others), which were presented in the Prague’s exhibition halls, first at the Žofín and from 1885 at the Rudolfinum.

From the beginning, these exhibitions attracted wide public interest, influenced the development of domestic art criticism and promoted the art trade. Above all, the mutual artistic exchange between Prague, Vienna, Munich and Paris was crucial. The Czech public had the opportunity to watch the artistic rise of many important Czech artists, including those who had been working abroad for a long time: Jaroslav Čermák, Václav Brožík, Julius Mařák, Antonín Chittussi, Vojtěch Hynais, František Ženíšek, Luděk Marold, Hanuš Schwaiger, Jakub Schikaneder, Max Švabinský, Josef Václav Myslbek, Alfons Mucha and many others. Among the foreign artists exhibited here were Jan Matejko, Ivan Aivazovsky, Vasily Vereshchagin, Karl Theodor von Piloty, Hans Makart, Mihály Munkácsy , Félicien Rops, Franz von Stuck, Auguste Rodin, Fernand Khnopff , Vasily Kandinsky, Odilon Redon, James Ensor and others.