CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Roelandt Savery: a painter in the services of Emperor Rudolf II

Exhibition: 8 December 2010 - 20 March 2011

Flemish painter Roelandt Savery (Kortrijk 1578-1639 Utrecht) was one of the most original and remarkable painters to work in imperial service. Emperor Rudolf II summoned him to Prague around 1604 to promote the painting style of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the emperor’s favourite artist. Savery quickly adjusted to Prague and depicted scenes from the lives of the common people (such as beer drinkers), drew Prague and its romantic forest glades and painted the animals in the emperor’s well-known menageries and aviaries – among others, Savery captured exotic parrots and the rare dodo, a clumsy bird that became extinct in the 17th century. All these unique depictions of old Prague and extraordinarily naive animal portraits can be seen at the Prague exhibition.

It is the first presentation of Roelandt Savery’s work in the Czech Republic. The National Gallery in Prague has prepared the exhibition, which features many international loans, in cooperation with the Broelmuseum in Kortrijk, Belgium.

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