Wenceslaus Hollar (1607 Prague – 1677 London) has mainly been presented at exhibitions and in books as a graphic artist, but less as a draughtsman. The National Gallery Prague published a monograph in 2017 with a comprehensive list of his drawings, which often represent an apex of the contemporary art of drawing in Europe. This exhibition is the first to focus almost exclusively on his drawings, their artistic quality and significance enhanced by the comparison of Hollar’s artworks with those by his predecessors, contemporaries and followers, such as Joris Hoefnagel, Matthäus Merian the Elder, Rembrandt van Rijn, Lambert Doomer or Francis Placeand others. On display are also several prints and paintings by the artists, who had a relationship to Hollar’s work. The National Gallery wants to show Hollar’s drawing roots and other inspiration, but also his unique quality and significance in the context of 17th-century European art.
The exhibition presents a number of first-quality artworks loaned from major European collections, such as the British Museum in London, Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, the Albertina in Vienna and many other museums and private collections.