Prague, The Crown of Bohemia, 1347-1437

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Overview

This beautiful book celebrates the remarkable flowering of art in Prague during the reigns of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and his two sons, Wenceslas IV and Sigismund. When crowned king of Bohemia in 1347, Charles vowed to make Prague the cultural rival of Paris and Rome. He rebuilt its castle and began a massive building campaign to glorify Saint Vitus’s Cathedral. In the ensuing century, Prague became not only an imperial but also an intellectual and artistic capital.

In essays and detailed entries on some 240 artworks drawn from American and European collections, an esteemed group of scholars traces the birth of a distinctly Bohemian art in Prague in the mid-fourteenth century and its diffusion throughout Europe over the next hundred years. Panel paintings, goldsmiths’ work, sculpture, stained glass, and illuminated manuscripts bear witness to the wide-ranging achievements of the hundreds of artists who were active in Bohemian lands during this spectacular century. Not since they were created have these magnificent objects been accorded the attention that they deserve on an international stage.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This sumptuous book (published in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and accompanying a current exhibition there that will travel to Prague in the spring, documents in extraordinary yet readable detail the art and culture of Prague from 1347 to 1437. Prague, the capital of Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), rose to prominence during the reign of Charles IV (1347-78), who brought artists from all over Europe to glorify his monarchy in a distinctive aesthetic known as "The Beautiful Style." Curator Boehm and art historian Fajt have collected essays from an international team of curators and scholars that provide detailed documentation for almost 200 objects, many of which have never been seen outside of the Czech Republic. These essays offer background on Prague itself, the Bohemian rulers, Bohemian art, and the art and culture of Prague's Jewish community. The catalog also contains 420 illustrations (more than half in color), maps, genealogies, and a 22-page bibliography. There is no comparable English-language title on this subject. Recommended for academic libraries focusing on art history, medieval history, and central/eastern European studies.-Martha Smith, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300111385
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 10/11/2005
  • Series: Metropolitan Museum of Art Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,263,011
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 12.36 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Drake Boehm is Curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jirí Fajt teaches at the Technical University in Berlin.

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Table of Contents

Charles IV : toward a new imperial style 3
Charles IV : the realm of faith 23
The circle of Charles IV 35
The example of Prague in Europe 47
Prague as a new capital 59
Called to create : luxury artists at work in Prague 75
The artistic culture of Prague Jewry 83
Wenceslas IV 91
The beautiful style 105
The Hussite revolution and sacred art 113
Sigismund, the last Luxembourg 121
Catalogue 131
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2005

    Prague, Still One to the Most Beautiful Cities of Europe

    PRAGUE, THE CROWN OF BOHEMIA, 1347-1437 is a great example of how a catalogue for a museum exhibition can fill a hole in art history. Though visitors still throng to this magnificent city, few know enough about its history in the arts except for isolated facts like Mozart's 'Prague Symphony'! This beautiful, rich book focuses on the 90-year period when the crowned heads of Bohemia pulled out all stops to make Prague the cultural equal of Paris and Rome. The resulting architecture, sculpture, street vistas, paintings, incomparable stained glass, and even the carved gold antiquities are among the finest examples of the craftsmen¿s art. The book highlights many of the works in the Metropolitan Museum exhibition, works gleaned the world over and reproduced here in immaculate color and black and white. The accompanying writing by Barbara Drake Boehm is not only well written and informative, it holds an awe for the subject that makes the concomitant viewing of these masterworks a particular pleasure. This book and exhibition not only focus on the, for the most part, unknown factual art historical aspects of Prague and Bohemia, it also provides a superb social and political history source for this important region. This is a grand book, highly recommended. Grady Harp

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