Jan Berka - engraver, Antonín Pucherna - inventor - The Břevnov Monastery
This lavishly rendered view of the Břevnov monastery was created at the behest of the Benedictine Abbot Jakub II Chmel (abbot 1786-1805) as a token of reverence for the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (1770-1809). In 1791-1800, the daughter of Emperor Leopold II was an abbess at the Theresian Institute of Noblewomen at Prague’s Hradčany. According to the chronogram, the print was produced in 1799 when Maria Anna left the convent after her convalescence. The sheet’s general dedicatory layout attests to the tenacity of the Baroque tradition in this type of depiction. Its characteristic component consisting of hovering figures of holy protectors or allegorical personifications is represented here by a composition showing the figure of the convent’s patron saint, St Margaret with a dragon, accompanied by a putto holding a palm frond. The sheet was made by the graphic artist Jan Berka (1761-1838) after a drawing by the young Antonín Pucherna (1776-1852). This is so far the oldest known author work of this draughtsman, who at the time was chiefly engaged in reproductive printmaking, but shortly after the turn of the century became one of the principal exponents of pre-Romantic landscape graphic art.
measurements: height 384 mm
width 635 mm
material: paper
technique: etching - engraving
inventory number: R 88251
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings