Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Gallery

 

Humprecht Jan Czernin, Count of Chudenitz was an important art collector. He was focused on Venetian and Flemish painting in particular. His art collection included around 300 paintings. Czernin´s descendants enhanced the collection.


 

The original art collection did not survived in the Czernin Palace until the present day. The main room of the former picture gallery is still called Gallery though. Its former function is recalled by still preserved monumental arch built at the entrance to the Gallery around 1720. The Gallery is decorated by three tapestries July-August, September-October, November-December. They form 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 July-August is inscribed by words JULIUS AUGUSTUS. 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 with a lion impersonating Leo (July) sits on the left side, a winged woman holding a maid impersonating Virgo (August) stands on the right side. Tapestry September-October is inscribed by words SEPTEMBER OCTOBER. The focal point consists of two sitting women. The first one holding a pair of scales impersonates Libra (September), the second one holding a scorpion impersonates Scorpio (October). Tapestry November-December is inscribed NOVEMBER DECEMBER with the focal point consisting of a sagittary – Sagittarius (November) and a winged woman embracing a goat representing a capricorn (December), with a bit of imagination.

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