The National Gallery
This state-owned art gallery in Prague is the most important gallery in the Czech Republic since it manages the largest collection of art and thus offers a number of unique exhibitions of both Czech and international art. It is housed in different location within the city, the largest being the functionalist building Veletržní Palác - Trade Fair Palace. Its history date back to the 18th century; a group of Bohemia patriotic aristocracy representatives and Enlightened middle-class intellectuals decided to improve the “debased artistic taste” of Prague population.
They formed an institution - Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts - and established the Academy of Fine Arts and the Picture Gallery. In 1918 the latter became a central collection of newly formed Czechoslovakia. In 1995 a new gallery dedicated to modern art was opened in the refurbished Veletržní Palác - one of the first and largest functionalist buildings, built in 1925-1928. This incredibly vast collection contains a large number of Czech and Slovak paintings and sculptures, such as works by Alfons Mucha, František Kupka or Bohumil Kubišta.
The collection of the National Gallery is varied - to see the permanent exhibition “The Art of Asia and the Ancient Mediterranean” head to Kinský Palace. “Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe” is exhibited at the Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia. Šternberský Palace offers “European Art From the Classical Era Through the Close of the Baroque”, including works by such masters as Rubens, Goya, or El Greco. Schwarzenberg Palace offers three floors of sculptural exhibits and Renaissance and Baroque painting, created in the lands of the Crown of Bohemia from the late 16th to the end of the 18th centuries. Perhaps, the most enticing permanent exhibition - “Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries” - is held in Veletržní Palác.
Visit the place for its fascination exterior and interior and enjoy a notable collection of Czech Cubism as well as numerous works by artists such as Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin, Gauguin, Cézanne, Renoir, Schiele, or Chagall; many of which are donations from the collection of art historian Vincenc Kramář.