‘Then I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth …’ The Apocalypse and Art in the Czech Lands

04/10/2023 to 03/03/2024
exhibition hall Masné krámy
Tomáš Winter, Pavla Machalíková a kol. autorů
Petra Kočová

Since the Middle Ages, the New Testament text of the Revelation of St. John and the visual imagination associated with it have included two antipodal points. On the one hand, the depiction of apocalyptic calamities and the dilapidation of the world represented destruction in a figurative sense, and thus social crises, upheavals and the horrors of war were associated with the apocalypse. On the other hand, the text culminates in a strong theme of hope: Apocalyptic visions thus included images of a ‘new world’, of the renewal of society and of consolation for the individual.

The exhibition showcases these inspirations in visual arts and music across a wide range from the Middle Ages to the present day. In addition to the classical series of the illustrated Apocalypse (Karlštejn Apocalypse, Albrecht Dürer) or the contrasting motifs of the Last Judgement and visions of the new world, the exhibition presents images of both sides of the theme in modern and contemporary art (Josef Führich, Maxmilián Pirner, Jan Koblasa, Václav Boštík, Pavel Nešleha, Josef Bolf et al.).