NEWS: 15 06 2023 This summer, the Kroměříž castle will belong to Italian Renaissance drawings from Czech and Moravian collections. Come and see what gems they hold. The Magic of Drawing exhibition starts today and runs until 17 September!

NEWS: 15 06 2023

Visitors to the Archbishops Castle in Kroměříž will see a representative show of 16th century Italian drawings. The exhibition The Magic of Drawing. Italian Drawing of the High Renaissance and Mannerism in Czech and Moravian Public Collections, prepared by the Olomouc Museum of Art, will present works from the collections of the National Gallery in Prague, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Regional Museum in Teplice, the Archbishopric of Olomouc, the Museum and Gallery in Prostějov, the National Heritage Institute, Charles University and the Memorial of National Literature from 15 June to 17 September 2023. 

According to Leonardo da Vinci, there is a “white magic” hidden in the art of drawing and painting, which is the only noble and correct one in contrast to the “black magic”, against which Leonardo fought and the false magicians. The artist is a magician, a creator equal to God: “The painter wants to see the beauty that surrounds him, but he can also create it himself. He is the lord and God of all that is visible, the bad and the good. He can create mountains and valleys, plains and seas that do not really exist.” 

Visitors can trace the different functions of the drawings with their various subjects – drawings of figures, animals, landscapes, architecture, etc. – from the initial sketch and study, through the elaborate design (modello) to contemporary copies (ricordo) and imitations. This functional diversity of drawing is characterised by different techniques and styles, which makes it more unique and attractive as a type of art. At the same time, interested visitors will learn about the various painting workshops (bottegami) that dominated Italian urban centres. The workshops where the works on paper on display were created became the basis for the traditional division of Italian painting by school. Although each school was characterised by its own formal peculiarities, they influenced each other, so that in each of them one can find multiple styles adopted from elsewhere.


The exhibition is accompanied by an expert publication prepared by Zdeněk Kazlepka of the Olomouc Museum of Art and Martin Zlatohlávek of Charles University as part of a project supported by the Czech Republic Grant Agency for the years 2020-2022. Although the book has only just been published, both authors originally conceived it as the first part of a three-volume catalogue of Italian drawings from the public collections of the Czech Republic. The present volume is preceded by two previously published publications entitled Muse under the Heavens – Italian Early Baroque Drawings from Czech and Moravian Collections (published for an exhibition at the Moravian Gallery in Brno) and Diversities of Drawing – Italian Drawings of the High and Late Baroque in Czech and Moravian Public Collections.