The Hidden Face
of the Loreto Treasure
So if you have missed it, don't worry - come and visit us just now, and you'll see the most interesting artworks from this Exhibition. The only exceptions are masterpieces sensitive to light (drawings, manuscripts, textiles), which had returned to safety of depositories. You can also look forward to the exhibition catalog (in both Czech and English version), which is currently being prepared for printing.
The exhibition presented exceptional decorative handicraft artworks from the historical collection of the Loreto treasure up to now hidden in the Loreto depositaries.
For the Czech art-loving public, the Loreto treasure is inseparably associated with the atmosphere of the Prague Hradschin. The fame of the treasure is not only determined by its extraordinary value but also by a long-established tradition of its accessibility to general public. Indeed, nearly everyone was allowed to have a look into the treasury in Loreto.
The earliest references to the treasure date back to 1636. It is certainly interesting that the privilege to view the remarkable masterpieces was not only granted to the most influential at that time for the treasure was frequently shown to the ordinary pilgrims. The new treasury was built in the early 18th century. Here, the works of art were installed in the specially designed cabinets in a manner by which each object occupied its own fixed place, where it was safely deposited and, simultaneously suitably presented to the visitors.
The historical treasury was reconstructed in 1881 and was funded by at that time, Maurice, the 9th Prince of Lobkowicz. In 1962, the most valuable works of the treasure were relocated to the first floor of the entrance building where they have been exhibited up to the present.
Unfortunately, the historical treasury rooms have not been accessible to public since then and, together with them, more than three quarters of the works constituting the Loreto treasure collection.
This is why we had organised for the summer season this unique exhibition for you. An exhibition presenting the “hidden face” of the treasure, which the public had the last opportunity to see during the First Czechoslovak Republic period. Those expecting a staggering amount of new diamonds, will perhaps be a little disappointed. The exhibition will, above all, reveal the great variety and diversity of votive gifts, which, over the centuries, had been growing into the treasure, as it is known today. You can also look forward to miniature ivory objects, bowls made of gemstones, mannerist paintings, baroque and renaissance jewels, medallions, crowns of the Loreto statuette of Our Lady of Grace. Exhibited for close viewing will also be the Exquisite silver sanctuary of the Loreto church based on a design by the sculptor R. Prachner and silver antependium by the Little Quarter goldsmith J. Zeller. Numerous works of art had been restored and majority of them will be exhibited for the first time in modern history.
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