Czech Baroque Genius
After studying sculpture in Salzburg, he travelled to Italy with the purpose of further studying the art of sculpture. During his time in Italy in 1699, he visited Venice, Bologna and Rome. This affected his future work, which bears traces of the Venetian sculpture school of the 17th century and is influenced by the works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Michelangelo.
Before 1710, he founded his own workshop in Prague, and he gained great success early on when he took part in the sculptural decoration of Charles Bridge and amazed the residents of Prague with his sculpture of St. Lutgardis. Thanks to this sculpture, he gained great popularity in the Czech Republic, and received many commissions.
Famous works in Prague
There are many Braun sculptures in Prague. You can admire, for example, the statue of St. Ivo, or his decoration of the church of St. Clement, as well as the decoration in the Clam-Gallas Palace, Czernin Palace (‘Černínský palác’), Grand Priory Palace (‘Velkopřevorský palác’), Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace and Vrtbovský Palace.
Even Vrtbovská Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in Prague, hides several Braun's sculptures. The staircase between the higher terraces, including the balustrade on the third terrace, is decorated with his putti and vases. Braun's statues of ancient gods are also placed there, including: Apollon with a Boar, Hermes, Artemis with a Dog, Hera with a Peacock, Pallas Athena with a Shield, Zeus with Eagle and Hephaestus with a Hammer.
A map with the locations of Matthias Braun’s sculptures can be found on Prague City Gallery’s website: http://en.ghmp.cz/.