By purchasing Lhoták's works, Prague Castle renews the tradition of adding to art collections, which began at the time of the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who held office 1918-1935, and continued to varying degrees in the eras of other major state representatives.
The paintings, which are the current President Miloš Zeman’s favourites, are entitled Dva balony (‘Two balloons’) from 1939 and Krajina oživená stroji (‘Landscaped Revived by Machines’) from 1944. They will be exhibited for the public and then they will be moved to the Presidential Offices at Prague Castle and the Lány Chateau. The president told journalists that if he were a billionaire, he would spend most of his money on Kamil Lhoták’s artwork.
Kamil Lhoták was not only a painter
This famous painter, graphic designer and illustrator, was also the founder and a prominent member of the artistic group named ‘Skupina 42’. Idealized landscapes with hot air balloons, airships, vintage cars, bicycles and aircrafts are typical in his work. Lhoták was a self-taught painter with a distinctive style and a wide thematic range. He was enchanted by modern technologies of his time. He was also inspired by various picture magazines and advertising brochures, book illustrations, adventures by Jules Verne and the atmosphere of urban peripheries, which he was able to depict with a dreamlike, poetic touch.
Lhoták was a very hardworking painter, who managed to create over two hundred paintings in one year. In his lifetime, he created over two thousand oil paintings; he also illustrated approximately four hundred books. He kept a very detailed record of his works, and some of his paintings are only known of today from his own records.
His paintings sometime appear in unexpected places. An oil-painting on cardboard was found in an envelope, another was discovered in a chest of drawers, and yet another among tools in a garage. Hopefully, there will be more of these beautiful discoveries. In Lhoták’s paintings, the worlds we dream of as children come to life.
Over the duration of the exhibition of Lhoták’s paintings, the admission fee to The Picture Gallery is 50% reduced. The Gallery has a large collection containing approximately one hundred paintings on permanent display. General admission is CZK 50, and family ticket is CZK 100.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Obrazárna Pražského hradu, II. nádvoří, Praha 1
(The Picture Gallery at Prague Castle, 2nd Courtyard, Prague 1)
Daily from 9AM to 4PM
For more information, please visit https://www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle-for-visitors