This beautiful book celebrates the remarkable flowering of art in Prague during the reigns of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and his two sons, Wenceslas IV and Sigismund. When crowned king of Bohemia in 1347, Charles vowed to make Prague the cultural rival of Paris and Rome. He rebuilt its castle and began a massive building campaign to glorify Saint Vitus’s Cathedral. In the ensuing century, Prague became not only an imperial but also an intellectual and artistic capital.
In essays and detailed entries on some 240 artworks drawn from American and European collections, an esteemed group of scholars trace the birth of a distinctly Bohemian art in Prague in the mid-fourteenth century and its diffusion throughout Europe over the next hundred years. Panel paintings, goldsmiths’ work, sculpture, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts, bear witness to the wide-ranging achievements of the hundreds of artists who were active in Prague during this spectacular century. Not since they were created have these magnificent objects been accorded the attention that they deserve on an international stage.