The Municipal Museum presents Prague in the 18th century

Almost 200 rare prints are in the exhibit Prague Vedute of the 18th Century

Fans of historical Prague will want to check out a new exhibition at the City of Prague Museum called Prague Vedute of the 18th Century, which opens March 15 and runs to June 4. Veduta is an Italian word for a large scenic painting or print, often a cityscape.

The exhibition will show some 197 prints from the 18th century showing both well-known and more obscure parts of the city, including architectural landmarks and monuments. A book in Czech and English is being published to coincide with the exhibition.

The exhibition is meant to be both a tour of the city a chronicle of its history, and the prints are presented as both works of art and historical documents.

“The curators of the City of Prague Museum and the Prague City Archives have been preparing the exhibition Prague Vedute of the 18th Century for several years. The exhibition presents 18th century prints of Prague which are deposited in Czech institutions. The unique array of originals from the fundamental collections of the City of Prague Museum presents the changes of the city and situate the vedute phenomenon in a historical context,” the museum states.

“During the 18th century, Prague witnessed significant historical events, coronations, sieges, military occupations, and natural disasters which determine both the character and the content of the vedute on display, which are thus rather varied,” the museum added.

Large prints by German engraver Friedrich Bernhard Werner issued in Augsburg in 1740 will be among those on display. A set of 28 prints by Filip and František Antonín Heger will show what the city looked like at the end of the 18th century. The waterfront was captured in 1792–94 by Prague artist Ludvík Kohl.

Important moments in history are also captured, such as the coronation of Maria Theresa in 1743 and Leopold II in 1792. Military events such as the occupation of Prague and 1740s and the siege in 1757 are also shown, as is the flood of 1784. A printing press for these types of illustrations gives some insight into the technology.

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