Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Oriental Lounge

 

The ceremonial rooms used as venues for meetings with foreign diplomats and internal conferences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are located on the first floor of the Czernin Palace. The first floor was a location of count´s and countess´ rooms in the original Czernin Palace. Former furnishing was almost completely lost.


 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed a special officer in charge with furnishing the palace in 1920s, while the Czernin Palace being reconstructed as a Czechoslovakian diplomacy headquarter at that time. An excellent move was an appointment of an artist, expecting his good taste. The artist in the charge was Prague painter Jaromír Stretti – Zamponi. Stretti – Zamponi made decisions concerning antiquities to be bought and shaped design of ceremonial rooms. Each lounge was designed in a particular style. The Oriental Lounge is decorated by tapestry May-June. It forms a part of a six- tapestries cycle depicting six pairs of months. The tapestries made by famous Flemish artist Jodocus de Vos in Brussels around 1710 were originally possessed by family of Czernin. The tapestries were obtained by aristocratic family of Lobkowitz, relatives of Czernins, in the half of the 18th century. The full cycle of tapestries was bought from inheritance of deceased Jiří Kristián, Prince of Lobkowitz in 1928 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thus the cycle returned to its former location, the Czernin Palace. The top of the tapestry is inscribed by words MAIUS IUNIUS. Figurative scene depicts both months in an allegorical manner. The focal point consists of two persons symbolizing zodiac signs beginning in respective months. A winged woman embracing twins impersonating Gemini (May) sits on the left side, a winged woman holding cancer (June) stands on the right side. The most typical feature of the Oriental Lounge is oriental and orientalist furniture. The most precious piece of furniture is a Japanese jewel box from the end of the 17th century. It may surprise by its austerity. Chinoiseries and japonisms produced in Europe in the 18th and 19th century are more spectacular. They tried to evoke art of the Far East in an appearance accessible to Europeans. A varnished gilded box made in England around 1740 is a typical example of a chinoiserie.

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