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náměstí 1. máje 1
430 28 Chomutov
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The exposition is situated in the late Gothic rooms of the ground floor of the City Hall (the former castle) on the May 1 square in two large halls at the entrance to the museum. The elevator ensures the access of the handicapped persons from the stairway at the main entrance to the building of the City Hall. The current design of the exposition was created in 1988 and since then it has undergone only minor modifications.

The whole exposition constitutes a collection of valuable wooden sculptures and altarpieces which covers the period from the year 1400 to the last quarter of the 16th century. They come from Chomutov and Kadaň regions, mostly from the medieval churches and monasteries. The exposition contains the whole museum collection of Gothic sculptures and paintings and most of the collection of the renaissance sculpture and painting.

The members of the museum association and dr. Rudolph Wenisch (director of the museum from 1932 to 1946) obtained the oldest core of the sculptures for this art collection between the years 1916 and 1942 from churches in Chomutov and Kadaň regions. Dr. Joseph Opitz, the leading art historian in Prague and long-term collaborator of the museum in Chomutov substantially contributed to this art collection. He organized the exhibition of Gothic art of northwest Bohemia in 1928 incl. its presentation in Chomutov and Most which was an event of an extreme extent. Opitz managed to gather for this exhibition more than 270 Gothic sculptures and paintings from museums, collections and churches throughout northwest Bohemia. His catalogue of this exhibition owned by former Museum of the City of Chomutov contained 17 wooden and 2 stone sculptures. Two pieces less are in the list of the year 1930 and the wartime inventory of 1940 shows again a higher number of 18 of medieval wooden sculptures. In the following wartime inventory of 1942 we can find 21 Gothic statues. In the postwar years the enlargement of the collection continued by addition of the pieces from abolished museums and the gifts or purchases from private collections, but of course from the art collections which were rescued in damaged or liquidated churches. The latter phenomenon has become an infamous known phenomenon throughout the northwest Bohemia which during the totalitarian regime was heavily tested by the industrial activity and mainly by large mining operations due to which several dozens of villages, churches and other important monuments disappeared. Many of the exhibited sculptures are literally the works of art that were rescued in the abolished churches. The transfer of items from the collection of the abolished Municipal Museum in the town of Kadaň into the District historical museum in Chomutov in 1975 and the subsequent transfer of the remaining sculptures from decaying Gothic Franciscan monastery church in the town of Kadaň between the years 1982 and 1984 meant a substantial contribution to the whole art collection. Also 6 Late Gothic carving works and 3 late Gothic altars of an exceptional quality were obtained for this art collection which also was enriched by 8 long-term loans from the Episcopacy of Litoměřice the number of which has gradually increased since 1992.

The oldest part of the entire exposition is Údlická Madonna, dated back to 1400-1410 which is lent by the EpiscopacyLitoměřice. It is a typical example of the peak phase of a beautiful style. The next developmental period of "fading" the beautiful style covered by the Hussite wars (1420 – 30th years of the 15th century) is represented by three carvings from the museum property (Světice z Úhošťan, Madonna with a scroll and Madonna of unknown origin) and a sculpture which is lent by the Episcopacy of Litoměřice (Pieta from Březno).

In the sculpture of post-Hussite Wars in addition to traditional conservative currents especially in the northwest Bohemia there appeared a progressive style, called "splintery", whose principle already headed toward the feelings of the late Gothic and in the exposition it can be seen on Our Lady of Sorrows from the Holy Gate in the town of Kadaň (around 1450), on Madonna from Horní Ves (1470-1490) or on the lent Madonna from the main altar of the monumental temple in Březno (1440-1460) which particularly in the Baroque period was the subject of people's respect. In terms of number and quality the whole exposition is focused on the sculpture and painting on the late Gothic period (1470-1530). Most of the carvings from the 15th century show the South German, especially Franconian and Swabian influences – except the works previously wrongly attributed to Ulrich Creutzi (e.g. St. Otvice Anna, around 1500, and Our Lady of Sorrows of Tušimice after the year 1500). Let us mention one of the best portraits of Madonna from so called younger altar of 14 holy helpmates from the former Franciscan monastery church in the town of Kadaň (1493), the above life-size carving of St. Sebastian from the same church (around 1500), Our Lady of Sorrows of unknown origin (1500-1520) and embossed carvings St. Catherine and Barbara of unknown origin (around 1510).

Also the paintings on two altar wings with the Marian theme of unknown origin (around 1500) reveal the South German orientation. From the early 16th century the art in the northwest Bohemia was influenced by the neighbouring Saxon artistic creation which applies to the sculptures (see the set of carvings created by previously recognized so-called master of Chomutov and master of Jirkov or embossed altar panels created by the Saxon Master of altar of Podelwitz), as well as to painting.

The altar of St. Barbara is the work of the Saxon painter Hans Hesse and the exposition can be proud of two paintings created by the Saxon painter Lucas Cranach the Elder. – so called Kadaň crucifixion and foremost the jewel and centrepiece of the entire exposition – Želinský altar of the year 1526 created by Master IW, the most talented pupil of Cranach. The exposition is completed by several masterpieces whose the style and the timing belong to the Renaissance art - two sculptures of retrospective Madonna, dated back to 1540-1550 and especially the two stone works that are found in the rear hall of temporary exhibitions - fragments of the lantern pillar and sculptures of St. Wenceslas and Florian created by the Saxon sculptor Franz Maidburg from the former early Renaissance entrance portal of Chomutov castle (1529-1533) and the   Renaissance stone altar from Záhořany created by the Kadaň sculptor George Meyer in 1589. The Renaissance paintings are represented by the painting of Christ the sufferer dated back to 1585, painted according to the original by the Master IW of the 1541.

The exposition is currently in the phase of a professional elaboration and creation of a brand new design.

At the entrance of the exposition it is possible to buy a catalogue which was written by Mgr. Eva Šamšulová. The exposition can be browsed without any commentary and also with a guide who provides the information not only on the exposition, but also on the history of the building and the town of Chomutov. The individuals, families, groups and schools are welcomed. An expert commentary can be provided on request.

Mgr. Renáta Gubíková
(Regional museum in Chomutov)

Opening hours:

Tue-Fri 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
VII, VIII Sun 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., XII Sun 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.



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Supported from the European Regional Development Fund
Regional Operational programme of North-West Cohesion Region
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