Information from the museum, 11 November 2009
The Kolowrat-Krakowsky Libsteinsky family collection in Rychnov nad Kněžnou is one of the major assemblages to have been amassed in Bohemia by members of the aristocracy. Painting collections were a typical manifestation of the central European cultural structure in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Kolowrat collection arose in the course of the 18th century. When the Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of Arts (the predecessor of today’s National Gallery in Prague) was established in 1796, the Kolowrats generously loaned their best Rychnov paintings to the Prague-based organisation. They remained on loan to the Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of Arts until 1872, after which all the paintings were returned to Rychnov Chateau. After February 1948, the art collection was nationalized, and the Kolowrats did not get it back until 1992 under the restitution law. The collection, today enriched by targeted acquisitions, consists of almost 400 paintings.
The National Gallery in Prague’s selection showcases artworks testifying to the picture gallery’s character and genre composition. The exhibition contains works by Hans von Aachen, Cornelis Norbert Gysbrechts, Georg Hinz or Michael Pacher. The other paintings by Dutch, Flemish, Italian and central European masters remain on display in the chateau in Rychnov nad Kněžnou, which is open to the public.
The long time exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue by the National Gallery in Prague.