The Šternberk Palace was built here between 1697 and 1707 for Václav Vojtěch of Šternberk. It represents one of the most significant examples of high Baroque secular architecture in Bohemia.
In 1796 the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts was founded by the Franz Josef Šternberk whose name the Šternberk Palace bear today. Members of this society loaned their finest artworks to be displayed in this palace with the collection growing from year to year. Fortunately before the First World War, the collection was taken over by the Government to ensure the collection’s survival during the war.
Between 1946 and 1948 the Šternberk palace was adapted for use by the National Gallery. The Collection of european art from the classical era to the close of baroque period has been situated here since 2003.
The exhibition is divided into several parts. The first part belongs to the Greek and Roman antiquities. The first floor is dedicated to the art from the 14th to the 16th century. It came from the collections of the Archduke Francesco Ferdinando D‘Este from his castle, Konopiště. You might admire the paintings by the Tuscan masters such as Bernardo Daddi or Lorenzo Monaco with others coming from the venetian school and works by the Florentine Manerists, Alessandro Allori and Bronzino. The same floor contains the collection of Flemisch paintings which includes a triptych from Geertgen tot Sint Jans and its alterpiece.
The Second floor is dedicated to the works from the 16th to the 18th century. In these times the schools such as Italian, Spanish, French and Dutch were very popular. Artists of this period are represented by Tintoretto, Ribera, El Greco, Tiepolo, Goya, Van Dyck or Rubens. The main pieces from Flemisch and Dutch works were by Hals, Rembrandt, Ruydsale, Terbich and also Van Goyen.
Finally, we should mention the ground floor which contains German and Austrian paintings from the 16th and the 18th centuries. The main artists are Lucas Cranach and Hans Baldung. The most beautiful masterpiece is The Feast of the Rose Garlands from 1506 and is the work of Albrecht Durer. This work was transferred to Prague by Rudolph II. The collection also includes small sculptures and drawings.
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