Celebration of Leopold I and the House of Sternberg

Karel Škréta

Karel Škréta - Celebration of Leopold I and the House of Sternberg
Owing to its unique iconography and artistic qualities, the thesis print of the brothers Wenzel Adalbert and Johann Norbert von Sternberg (the sheet is deposited in the Czech National Library) and its design (at National Gallery in Prague) are among the most frequently published sheets of Bohemian Baroque. The imaginative allegorical and historical conception of the thesis print was devised by Jan Tanner, a Jesuit professor, historian and writer, who also devoted himself to the history of the Sternberg noble family. In collaboration with Tanner and Sternberg brothers, Škréta designed the cosmological and historical allegory that combines a homage to Emperor Leopold I with the glorification of the Sternberg family. The preserved drawing was a working sketch intended for discussion. The basic idea and compositional outlines of this drawing were applied in the engraving executed by Bartholomäus Kilian in Augsburg. Shown in the preparatory drawing are planetary gods circling around the solar deity Apollo. In the thesis print, Apollo has the countenance of Emperor Leopold I and the gods were substituted for the kings of Bohemia, who are accompanied as satellites by the Sternberg eight-pointed stars.
measurements: height 390 mm
width 312 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: drawing in pen and brush, under-drawing in lead pencil
inventory number: K 4872
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings

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