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3rd evening
3rd evening

Sat, Sep 16


Castle Humprecht

3rd evening

Jan Rudolf Czernin. A Life of a Politician and Art Collector in Vienna and Eugen Karl Czernin as a Bohemian Provincial Patriot Lectors: Zdeněk Hojda and Ralph Melville

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Sep 16, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Castle Humprecht, Sobotka 363, 507 43 Sobotka, Česko


Jan Rudolf Czernin. A Life of a Politician and Art Collector in Vienna


Jan Rudolf Czernin (1757-1845) was brought up at the court of his uncle, the Archbishop

Jerome Colloredo-Wallsee on Salzburg during the Enlightenment Era. At the end of the

1770s, he set out on a Grand Tour heading to Germany, the Netherlands and France. Upon

his return to Bohemia, he managed to bring the family domain to a new economic

prosperity. He worked his way up among the leading members of the Czech Estates

community, in which he belonged to the liberal wing, and was entrusted with important

representative tasks at both Prague coronations in the early 1790s. At the end of the

century, he devoted himself to building a new family residence in Vienna, but in the spirit of

provincial patriotism, he never stopped to support patriotic societies in Bohemia with the

Society of Patriotic Friends of Art on the top of the list. His artistic and collecting passion led

him to build the new Czernin image gallery, which became one of the most popular sights in

Vienna. In the last years of his life, he entered national politics and was appointed High

Chamberlain of the Kingdom of Bohemia. This lecture will present a comprehensive

biography of Jan Rudolf Czernin, which has recently been professionally compiled for the

first time.


Zdeněk Hojda (Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague)

(The lecture will be given in Czech.)


Eugen Karl Czernin as a Bohemian Provincial Patriot


Eugen Karl Czernin (1796-1868) was the only son and successor of Jan Rudolf Czernin. He

grew up in Vienna, but with a Czech tutor. He spent a lot of time in Chudenice, which he

liked the most among the Czernin estates. His old friend and teacher was Josef Dobrovský.

Since the early 1920s, he took over the care of the family estates: in addition to Chudenice,

he worked intensively in Petrohrad and built the family sepulcher in Jindřichův Hradec; in

Vienna, after his father´s death, he had a new palace built on the outskirts of Josefstadt. It

also housed an image gallery, which he continued to build and which was opened to the

public. Thus, Eugen Karl´s greatest contribution in the cultural sphere. He was a great

supporter of the National (Czech) Museum and a member and patron of many other Czech

patriotic associations and societies. The life of Eugen Karl can be traced through the diaries

he kept from the age of twelve until the end of his life. During the lecture, we will focus not

only on his cultural and patriotic activities but also on his political activities, which he started

only in later years of his life.


Ralph Melville (Mainz, Germany)

(The lecture will be given in Czech.)

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