National Gallery to be open over Easter

All of the gallery buildings will be open Good Friday through Easter Monday

No plans for the big four-day Easter weekend? The National Gallery has you covered. All gallery locations will be open for all four days including Good Friday and Easter Monday. Artworks range from ancient times up to new works from the 21st century, with several interesting temporary exhibits as well as the permanent ones.

At the Trade Fair Palace (Veletržní palác), you can pay one fee for the whole museum, rather than separate fees for each exhibit. It is a deal if you want to see everything at one go.

Right now Veletržní palác has several shows worth seeing. A new work by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is taking up the space that held Mucha's Slav Epic, which is now on tour. Ai Weiwei has become interested in the refugee issue, and he created a huge inflated raft with figures on it, surrounded by texts and other objects. The installation is called Law of the Journey. More of his work is also on display including life jackets made into a snakelike design.

Other temporary works include a sound and light installation by Brian Eno called the Ship and room-sized sculpture by Magdalena Jetelová called Touch of Time.

The permanent collection, with works by Picasso as well as artworks by Austrian and German artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, is also worth checking out.

Salm Palace (Salmovský palác) has something for 20th century history buffs. Charta Story — The Story of Charter 77 marks to 40th anniversary of the civic initiative that criticized human rights violations in Czechoslovakia and the Eastern bloc. The exhibit uses photos and documents to show the main participants. The palace also has a permanent exhibition of 19th century art from Neoclassicism to Romanticism.

The Waldstein Riding School (Valdštejnská jízdárna) has a temporary exhibition of recent work by František Skála. The installation is fully integrated with the venue’s architecture and lighting and includes exhibition pavilions and solitary monumental works, light installations and works done specifically for the site.

The Sternberg Palace (Šternberský palác) has works from eight artists collected under the banner After Rembrandt, shown next to the museum's one Rembrandt masterpiece, The Scholar in His Study. Parallels in their styles can be seen. The permanent exhibition is European art from antiquity to Baroque, including part of the collection of Archduke Franz Ferdinand d´Este.

The Schwarzenberg Palace (Schwarzenberský palác) is showing French engravings of Rome in the 17th century. French engravers flocked to the Eternal City in that era and captured classical themes with a new outlook. The permanent exhibition is Art from the Rudolfine Era to the Baroque in Bohemia.

The Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia (Klášter sv. Anežky České) has What the Eyes Cannot See: Underdrawing in 14th–16th Century Panel Paintings from the Collections of the National Gallery in Prague. The temporary exhibition emphasis hidden details on well-known works, and offers an opportunity to see hidden preparatory designs and shows how works came to life. The convent also has Central European medieval art from 1200 to 1550.

The the Kinský Palace (Palác Kinských) has an exhibition on the connection between painting and script in Asian fine arts. The permanent exhibition is the Art of Asia.

Last year the National Gallery exhibitions were among the most visited in the Czech Republic, with 712,690 visitors. In 2014, when current gallery director Jiří Fajt started it was 380,231 people.

An exhibition of art from the time of Charles IV was the most popular domestic exhibition last year, seen by 93,000 people.

For more information, visit www.ngprague.cz

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