National Gallery in Prague – Veletržní Palace (Národní galerie v Praze – Veletržní palác)
At the time of its construction (completed in 1928), this was the largest building of its kind in the world and the first Functionalist building in Prague. Today it serves the needs of the National Gallery. A unique collection of Czech and international modern and contemporary art, it includes some extremely valuable examples of French and European art, including important works by such illustrious names as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt and many more.
January – December
- 10.00 – 18.00
- 10.00 – 18.00
- 10.00 – 18.00
- 10.00 – 18.00
- 10.00 – 18.00
- 10.00 – 18.00
The National Gallery in Prague opens its permanent exhibitions for children and youth under 18 and students under 26 years of age completely for free. For temporary exhibitions the usual admission fee applies.
DAYS OF FREE ENTRY:
- May 18 International Museum Day – free admission to all expositions – 10.00-21.00
- June 2 We´re open – free admission to all expositions and exhibitions – 8.00-22.00
- June 11 Prague Museum Night – free admission to all expositions – 19.00-01.00
The exhibition “Czech Modernism I, 1890-1930” presents works of Mánes, Navratil, and Purkyně; artists from the “National Theatre generation” (Aleš, Ženíšek, Myslbek, Hynais, Schikaneder et al.); the creators of Art Nouveau and symbolist vision (Mucha, Pirner, Bílek et al.); and the founders of Czech modern art (Slavíček, Hudeček, Preisler, Švabinský et al.). One of the most important parts of the permanent exhibition is an extensive collection of works by František Kupka, capturing his independent journey from symbolism to abstraction.
The exhibition “Czech Modernism II, 1900-1930” is devoted to monographic profiles of Emil Filla, Bohumil Kubista, Antonín Procházka, Otakar Kubín, and Otto Gutfreund, and captures the coherence of expressive tendencies as it competed with the clear, constructive rigidity of Cubism. A separate space is reserved for Cubism in architecture, design and applied arts, as a significant Czech speciality. Works by the group of artists know as the Tvrdošíjní (the “Hardnecks”) (Jan Zrzavý, Václav Špála, Josef Čapek, Rudolf Kremlička) formed at the beginning of the First World War. The exhibition of Art Deco style in the respirium is deserving of special attention.
In the third section of the exhibition “Czech Modernism III (1930 and later)”, the works of Jan Štyrský and Toyen are displayed, manifesting their creative journey to the poetics of surrealism. Imaginative creativity in the 1930s is represented by works by Janoušek, Šíma, Makovský, and others. The 1940s are represented by the works of Rykr, Černý, Diviš, and others. The modernism of the 1950s is represented by the work of Medek, Fáry, Sekal and others. The remainder of the exhibition maps art trends from the 1960s to the present.
The exhibition of Czech Contemporary Art acquaints the viewer with architecture, scenography, design, and selected works of art from 1980 to the present.
A collection of French art represents a significant, representative collection of painting and sculpture by Rodin, Delacroix, the French landscape painters Corot and Rousseau, impressionists Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir, and artists who opened the way for modern art: Cezanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and Seurat. Furthermore, the unique Cubist works of Picasso, Braque and artists working primarily in the Parisian setting of the 1920s and 1930s - Derain, Chagall, Bonnard, Vlaminck, sculptors Despiau, Laurens and others.
The exhibition "International Art of the 20th and 21st century" presents largely the work of Austrian and German artists from the 1940s (Klimt, Schiele, Pechstein, Schmidt-Rottluff, Kokoschka) and the German-Czech artists (Orlík, Hablík, Brömse, Kopf), as well as the excellent expressionist works of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. Russian avant-garde paintings are represented by Lentulov and Falk. Spanish artists are represented by paintings by Miró, Dominguez, Bores, Clavé, Tàpies, and the sculptural works of Henry Moore and G. Manzúa. More recent acquisitions from the 70s due for example the works of L. Fontana, A. Perilliho, M. Raysse. Notable among recent purchases and donations after 1989 are works by Buffett, Beyuse, and Vautier, as well as a group of paintings by the New New Painters and the Chinese artist Qia Ga.
Alfons Mucha - The Slavonic Epic (long-term exhibition till 31. 12. 2015)
Alfons Mucha created this monumental cycle of twenty large paintings between 1912 and 1926. With these works, he wanted to summarize the history of Czechs and other Slavic nations. For the first time in history, all twenty paintings are on display in Prague. The current installation is based on the content of the original layout of Mucha’s Slav Epic and the sequence of the various topics. The images are arranged chronologically by images that are shown to them.
Trade Fair Palace
After the first Prague Sample Fair Trade held in 1920, the idea of building a new exhibition ground originated because the old exhibition area was not sufficient anymore. As early as 1919 the Prague Sample Fair Trades were established in order to support the economics of the new state and to build its own commercial centre independent from Vienna. The Building Cooperative was established that bought a land near the old fairgrounds in order to build three commercial palaces and a hotel as a business centre as well as a representation seat of the companies that ran business with us. Architects Oldřich Tyl and Josef Fuchs were entrusted with working out a design of the new building. The construction process started in 1925 and the first trade fair palace (veletržní palác) was ceremonially opened on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic in 1928. However, due to financial reasons this palace remained the only one. At that time it was the biggest construction of its kind in the world and the first building in a new style of Functionalism in Prague. A single huge rectangular block with two underground plus eight above-ground storeys was built on the area of 140 x 80 m. Two central showrooms had 24 000 square metres of the exhibition area: in the southern part there is a 15-metre high hall with a ground plan of 80 x 40 m, originally for heavy engineering industry products, around which individual exhibition floors rise with a simple reinforced concrete structure. The other is a small gallery hall in the northern part, running through all floors, with top lighting, too; it is one of the most impressive spaces of the 20th century buildings. In addition to the fair exhibition, in autumn of 1928 the Slav Epic (Slovanská epopej) was also introduced there, donated to Prague by Alfons Mucha. In the 30s there were established a cinema in the basement, a restaurant on the ground floor and a view café on the 6th floor. The palace served to its original purpose until 1949 with a break during the Nazi occupation when the German used it among others as a gathering place for the Jews before their deportation to concentration camps. From 1951 it served as an administrative building to several businesses in foreign trade. On 14 August 1974 the palace completely burnt down and even its demolishing was considered. However, in 1976 it was listed in the State Register of Immovable Cultural Monuments and two years later assigned to the National Gallery for a permanent exhibition of modern art. It was reconstructed for this purpose according to a design by architect Miroslav Masák and designers of the SIAL Liberec Company. The inauguration of the National Gallery exhibition was held on 13 December 1995.