Rudolf’s art collections represent an extensive field of research with a wide range of opinions. The current discourse oscillates between the idea of a private museum accessible only to the emperor and court artists and a semi-public collection conceived in the symbolic meaning as the form of sovereign representation. Scholars have mainly paid attention to the kunstkammer, but not as much to the paintings collection (picture gallery). The clues are clear: the collection was already scattered by the middle of the seventeenth century and there is no exact documentation of its original extent and shape.
The use of computation methods and intensive team research raised new questions, which had not been asked yet. The lecture not only offers a fresh look at the location and spatial arrangement of the picture gallery but also encourages a rethinking of the relationship between the picture collection and Rudolf’s personality.
Štěpán Vácha, PhD, is a research scholar at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and editor-in-chief of the journal Studia Rudolphina. His primary research interest concerns Rudolfine and Baroque painting in Bohemia. He teaches art history at Charles University in Prague and the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2020, he has been a principal investigator of the team research project “Art for Display: The paintings collection of Emperor Rudolf II within the context of collecting practices ca. 1600”.
The lecture of ca. 40 minutes will be followed by a discussion. All are welcome!
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