Day by day, year after year

The exhibition


Mánes exhibition poster

The exhibition is in the former riding school (Valdštejnská jízdárna) and presents more than 400 pieces by the artist or about the artist.

Mánes (1820-1871) was a romantic portrait painter. He died on December 9, 1871. During his lifetime, Josef Mánes was not one of the recognized painters. The importance of the work of Mánes, as the founder of Czech painting, was not appreciated until the beginning of the 20th century.
He is considered a master of Czech painting and landscape painting in the era of Romanticism and Realism.

One of the central bridges over the Vltava River is named after him and includes a statue of the painter at the end of the Old Town. His image appeared on several Czechoslovakian and Czech postage stamps.

Mánes' most famous work is Josefina (1855) - a sensual portrait of a girl with exposed breasts, who never left Mánes' studio until her death.


Portrait of Josefina, 74 x 59 cm, 1855


The artist

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Friedrich Schiller in 1859, he created a large tondo with allegories: Poetry and History (missing), Lyric Poetry (diameter 161.5 cm, which are in the collection of the National Gallery), in which he uses for the first time a neutral gold background.
This drawing was apparently a project to decorate a brothel...

If the subject is quite vain, I can't help admiring the virtuosity of the line. On his sketches, Josef Mánes is impressive by the accuracy of his drawings. A simple curve, a profile, and the character is sketched.

I don't care a bit about the choice of subjects, because he drew a lot of cherubs. Now maybe he needed to live.



His drawings

So did he do watercolors?
Yes, of course, in addition to very realistic oil portraits. Looking at his oils, I tell myself that he has not conceded anything to reality, and has not given in to the attempt to conceal a double chin here, a crazy lock there.
So here are some of his watercolors, drawing predominates, and the subjects are often traditional costumes.

Also, landscapes and a herbarium.

Right, Verunya Chudova, sketch of traditional costume