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The Cast Collection of Ancient Sculpture, Faculty of Arts, Charles University

(Collection de moulages de la sculpture antique de l'Université Charles de Prague)

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Category : Archaeology
Civilizations : Greece, Roman time
Description : The Institute of Classical Archaeology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, holds a collection of more than 600 plaster casts of ancient sculpture including statues and reliefs of greater or lesser fame from the Archaic period on, as well as objects of minor arts, especially Etruscan little bronzes or Roman provincial relief vases. The origins of the collection are closely tied to the foundation of the Chair for Classical Archaeology at Charles University in 1872. It originally consisted of almost 800 casts; the oldest ones probably come from the late 18th century aristocratic collection of the Counts of Nostitz. Majority of the casts came to Prague from museums all around Europe due to the professors of Classical Archaeology Otto Benndorf and Wilhelm Klein. The latter also realized his famous reconstructions of statues and groups (Myron´s Athena and Marsyas, Invitation to the Dance or Muse Polyhymnia in particular) on the Prague casts. From its beginning the collection was displayed to the public in one of the historical buildings of the Clementinum, today's National Library, later, during the Communist era, it was removed and migrated across the republic, many casts having been destroyed owing to improper manipulation and unsatisfactory conditions. In 1969 the building of the former Franciscan convent in Hostinné, East Bohemia, finally saved the casts from complete disaster. This age-old, chronologically organized gallery exhibits nearly 110 casts. The space of the church interestingly contrasts with the Melian Aphrodite, Apoxyomenos or Barberini Faun. Almost the same number of statues, including the whole of Thorwaldsen´s reconstruction of the west Aphaea pediment, has recently been displayed at the château Dux, North Bohemia. This brand new exposition called “Enchanted by Antiquity“ is aimed not only at the history of ancient Greek sculpture, but also presents the ancient mythology as a source of inspiration for the artists from the Renaissance on. With regard to the baroque château of the Wallenstein family the installation is also closely linked to the aristocratic environment, the history of collecting and the aristocratic traditions of travelling south to Italy and Greece (on so called Grand Tours).
Creating year : 1873
Modification year : 1969 (in Hostinné)
Mould Number : 0
Cast Number : ca 600
Bibliography : Maria DUFKOVA, Le musée des moulages de sculptures grecques et romaines. Hostinné, Tchécoslovaquie, in Le Moulage. Actes du colloque international, Paris 10-12 avril 1987, Paris (La Documentation française), 1988,pp.173-179.
Katalog odlitku anticke plastiky z Univerzity Karlovy (Galerie antickeho umeni Hostinné nad Labem). Praha, 1978.
Katalog odlitku antické plastiky, Galerie antického umeni Hostinné, Pruvodce expozici. Hostinné 2009
The Cast Collection of Ancient Sculpture, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
Dpt of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, Charles Univ.
Náměstí J. Palacha 2,
CZ 116 38 PRAHA 1
Tchequie - Europe
Status : University museum

Phone : +420 221 619 427
Website :
Institution website
: Lenka Vacinová
+420 221 619 427