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Photographers´ Tribute to Charles IV

Photographers´ Tribute to Charles IV

29 May - 30 December 2016, Vernissage 28 May 2016 at 5pm.

The extensive exhibition commemorating the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV., presents 120 vintage photographs by prominent Czech photographers František Fridrich, František Krátký, Jindřich Eckert, Jaroslav Bruner-Dvořák, Josef Sudek, Karel Plicka, Karel Neubert and Alexandr Paul, which mainly depict famous monuments commissioned by Charles IV.

However, also on display are photographic portraits, images by Jiří Tiller or the work of the contemporary Czech artist Jiří David, copies of Charles IV.´s documents provided by the State Regional Archives in Třeboň and paintings with a Gothic theme by the painter Zdena Skořepová. The author of the concept of the exhibition - which is also complemented by numerous accompanying texts - is PhD Miloslav Paulík. There is also a museum and educational programme available - for visitors by prior appointment - designed primarily for students of grammar schools and secondary schools.  

František Fridrich
21 May 1829 Mělník - 23 March 1892 Praha
František Fridrich was a major figure in the history of Czech photography, as a photographer and publisher of topographical images, portraits of personalities and other images from different genres .Unlike most of the contemporary photographers at that time, he primarily focused on photographing historic monuments and landscapes. He was the first in the Czech lands to photograph nudes and sport and was the first to photograph Prague in winter. Besides Wilhelm Horn he was the only photographer from the Czech lands who achieved truly international fame in the 19th century.

Jindřich Eckert
22 April 1833 Praha - 28 February 1905 Praha
Due to the quality and versatility of his work - from portraits to artistic monuments, landscape and architecture - Jindřich Eckert is considered the most significant figure in photography in the Czech lands of the 19th century. He was one of the pioneers of collotype and the first in Bohemia to produce a photographic series of the artistic and natural phenomena of his homeland and laid the foundations for Czech landscape photography. At that time he was one of the most acclaimed Czech photographers.

František Krátký
7 September 1851 Sadská - 20 May 1924 Kolín
One of the most important photographers and photographic publishers in the Czech lands in the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Besides portrait work, he concentrated on landscape and historic sights photography with an emphasis on stereophotography. He accentuated the role of his images as visual teaching aids to explore his country. No other photographer travelled so extensively in the Czech and Moravian countryside during the last two decades of the 19th century.

Jaroslav Bruner-Dvořák
15 November 1881 - 2 April 1942
Jaroslav Bruner-Dvořák took over the family firm from his brother Rudolf, who was one of the pioneers of photographic reportage in the Czech lands. In the spirit of the company tradition, he also centred on photographing events around President T. G. Masaryk. He achieved an award winning mastery and technical virtuosity in photographing architecture and interiors, although the avant-garde influence is not to be found in his work.

Josef Sudek 
17 March 1896 Kolín - 15 September 1976 Praha
A famous figure from the history of Czech photography, the most well-known and most acclaimed Czech photographer abroad. He trained as a bookbinder but after the amputation of his right hand due to a war injury, he took up photography initially as a hobby and soon became a respected professional. Since the forties of the 20th century, he didn´t enlarge images but created the positives through contact copying from the original size of the negatives. His panoramic photographs of the 10 x 30 cm format also became famous. He was officially praised during his lifetime; in 1961 he was named an Artist of Outstanding Merit and was awarded a state medal. The publication St. Vitus from 1928 with original photographs and the books Prague Castle, Our Castle, Prague Panoramic and Charles Bridge mainly focus on the historic sights from the era of Charles IV. In 2016, 40 years have passed since the death of this important photographer.

Karel Plicka
14 October 1894 Vienna - 6 May 1987
Karel Plicka was an outstanding personality in the history of Czech and Slovak culture; photographer, filmmaker, ethnographer and educator, co-founder of the Academy of Performing Arts and the first dean of the Film Academy. He also received many international and domestic awards. He was the author of many popular folklore publications, famous for his pictorial monographs (such as Prague Castle, Royal Prague, Golden Gate).  He placed great emphasis on large-format pure photography, without the use of any laboratory tricks. In 1968 he was awarded the title of National Artist for his artistic, folkloristic and educational activities.

Alexander Paul
30 October 1907 Rakovník - 1 December 1981 Praha
The founder of a significant family photographic dynasty, hence the name ,,Paul" became synonomous in Czech and Slovak photography for good quality. After an initial focus on photographic journalism and commercial photography for an agency, he concentrated mainly on photographing historic monuments from the beginning of the forties of the last century. He was the first photographer in the Czech lands to process the colour negative. His superb colour prints represented Czechoslovakia at many exhibitions abroad and he also participated in numerous photographic publications. His four sons also dedicated themselves to professional photography.

Karel Neubert
2 March 1926 Praha - 2003
A leading Czech photographer of architecture and the fine and applied arts, who came from a family of publishers and printers. His work was characteristic for attempting a monumental finish permeated with a sense of knowledge and historical value of the architecture. From 1953 he photographed mainly on colour material. He often took photographs of Prague and the Prague Castle (Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral Windows, The St. Vitus Treasure, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle, Art at the Court of Charles IV.). At the beginning of his extensive publication activities he often collaborated with his brother Ladislav and later with his wife Jana Neubertová.

Text: Pavel Scheufler