House At The Black Madonna – Museum Of Czech Cubism
The museum is situated in the centre of Prague, at the point where Celetná St. meets Ovocný trh. The house is very well situated and isone of Prague’s most attractive places. It has also been declared a national cultural monument.
The House at the Black Madonna represents the Chef d’oeuvre of Cubism in architecture even if the construction itself cannot hide its modernist character. It was built in the years 1911-12 for František Josef Herbst to the design of architect Josef Gočár. The original design also slightly differed from the final construction. Originally, this was a multifunctional building with stores on the ground level and the famous „Orient Café“ and Cubist movables on the second floor. There were also offices and apartments here. The interesting design of the facade follows requirements of the city magistrate that the height of the cornice has to correspond with the hip-roof. This solution fits perfectly into the historical environment. In 1912, the architect added Cubist details to the entrance, Cubist attic windows and metal parts of the balcony balustrade. The balustrade of the interior staircase was also cast in the same style as the outside Cubist details.
Czech Museum Of Cubism
The fact that after the recent reconstruction, its spaces were assigned to the Museum of Czech Cubism owes to a brilliant decision by the Ministry of Culture. The exhibition was arranged by the National Gallery in Prague in collaboration with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague and the National Museum.
The Czech Cubism movement represented one of the important in the development of art, design and architecture of the Central Europe in the first half of the 20th century. The proponents of Czech Cubism born in the 1880s were able to use the creative ideas from their own cultural background, particularly of the Baroque, alongside the new inspiration found in European, mainly French modern art, and established Cubism as the most complex style of modern times. The exhibition of Edvard Munch’s works, held in Prague in 1905, provided a key to the psychological nature of that time. It was above all under the influence of Munch’s symbolical Expressionism and the French painting of the second half of the 19th century that the young Prague artists approached the expressive painting as the starting point for their efforts to conceive art in a new way.
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