Ústav dějin umění Akademie věd ČR, v. v. i.

Art for Display

Art for Display:
The painting collection of Emperor Rudolf II within the context of collecting practices ca 1600

Provider.: Czech Science Foundation, No: GAČR 20-15927S
Time: 2020–2022
Beneficiary: Institute of Art History, CAS
Principal investigator: Štěpán Vácha
Professional co-workers: Štěpán Vácha, Sylva Dobalová, Petr Uličný, Lubomír Konečný, Markéta Ježková
External co-workers: Guido Carrai, Radka Heisslerová, Eliška Fučíková, Simone Bardazzi

The painting collection of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, scattered during the Thirty Years’ War, was one of the foremost ensembles of its kind in Europe. The inventories, period testimonies and other sources, and last but not least identified works, provide an idea of its scope. Thorough heuristic research and the creation of a specialized database will allow an analysis of the collection with a regard to pictorial genres composition and the representation of painters, painting “schools”, also its spatial arrangement and administration. The collection will be judged in the context of the collection activities of the Habsburgs (Madrid, Brussels), the princely courts in Italy (esp. Florence, Mantua) and Germany (Dresden, Munich), as well as with regard for the transformation of the status of the painting as a “gallery object” and the innovations associated with that in the painting production ca. 1600 (esp. in Rome). Last but not least, attention will be paid to Rudolf’s gallery as a specific type of building, taking in account its involvement in Prague Castle’s residential complex. 

For more information about the database of the painting collection of Rudolf II, please visit:

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