The painting collection of the Liberec Regional Gallery contains about 2,000 works. Based on the date of origin, the painting collection may be divided into three sections: the old masters of the 16th-18th century, the 19th century art, and the 20th century art.
The old masters collection can be subdivided according to the place of origin to the Czech and European painting of the 16th-18th century. The Czech collection contains painting from High Baroque (Petr Brandl, Václav Vavřinec Reiner) as well as Late Baroque (Johann Vojtěch Angermayer, Jan Kašpar Hirschely), Rococo, and Classicism (Norbert Grund, František Xaver Procházka) and also regional painting that develop Baroque tradition in the folk form. This collection as a whole is far from being a complex summary of the period. However, two of its paintings are integrated in the permanent exhibition of the Czech Baroque painting in the National Gallery in Prague.
Besides a few Italian and other solitary painters, the 16th – 18th century European painting is represented mainly by a collection of Dutch and Holland paintings. This collection was established in the 1960’s and is presented in a catalogue available in Czech and English. The “little masters” include for instance Jan Davidsz de Heem, Jan Fyt, Thomas Heeremans, and Jan Jansz van de Velde.
The 19th century collection includes Czech, French, German (including regional artists such as Ernst Gustav Doerell, Josef Führich or Jacob Ginzel), Polish, and Austrian works. The painting stock of the 19th century Czech art does not cover all the development phases of this period, nonetheless it does include several major names (Václav Brožík, Julius Mařák) and important monograph collections (August Piepenhagen, Wilhelm Riedel).
The German and Austrian painting of the 19th century ranks among the central collections of the Gallery thanks to Heinrich Liebieg’s estate. The two hundred works of art are covered in a catalogue available in both Czech and German. Larger collections of the Austrian painters (Eugen Jettel, August Pettenkofen, Franz Rumpler) are complemented with balanced selections from German painting (for instance the Munich Biedermeier is represented by Carl Spitzweg, the Realistic painting by Wilhelm Leibl, the Romantic-Realistic by Max Haushoffer, Gabriel Max, and the Art Nouveau by Walter Leistikow).
Similarly to the previous collection, likewise the 19th century French landscape painting comes from Liebieg’s estate. It comprises Barbizon school paintings and a collection of the works of Eugene Boudin, the direct predecessor to Impressionism (the largest compilation of this artist outside of French collections). The entire thirty two item collection is covered in a Czech-French catalogue.
The 20th century is the most extensive collection consisting of about two thousand works. It may be divided into three sections: the 20th century Czech painting, the German painters working in Bohemia in the pre-1945 period (collection of “Prague Germans”, e.g. August Brömse, Max Kopf and the German painters belonging to Metznerbund and Octobergruppe; here the vast collection of Erwin Müller stands out) and post-1945 regional painting (Václav Benda, Jiří Dostál, Josef Jíra, Vladimír Komárek, Rostislav Zárybnický). A catalogue covers all acquisitions made until 1974.
The 20th century Czech art is the pride of the Gallery - it features a representative overview of all main art schools and major artists of this period. Impressionism is represented by a breakthrough painting by Antonín Slavíček, and also by Antonín Hudeček, Miloš Jiránek, Václav Radimský, and other painters. A large collection of works by Jan Preisler and solitary works by Jan Zrzavý and Josef Váchala represent Symbolism. Within Expressionism, works by Josef Čapek, Bohumil Kubišta, Bedřich Feigl, Georg Kars, Willi Nowak, Otakar Nejedlý, and others are prominent. Cubism is introduced with paintings by important artists such as Bohumil Kubišta, Antonín Procházka and Vincenc Beneš; a large collection is dedicated to Emil Filla. Surrealism works include large collections of Alois Wachsman, František Janoušek, František Muzika, and Josef Šíma. Toyen and Jindřich Štýrský have each one work here. The 1940’s have excellent representation here (groups Sedm v říjnu and Skupina 42). Paintings by Václav Boštík, Radoslav Kratina, Mikuláš Medek, and Stanislav Podhrázský recall the 1960’s.
The political liberation of the 1990’s mirrored also in the acquisition activities. While in the 1970’s and 1980’s it was the regional art which was in the centre of attention, in the 1990’s the focus extended to the works by nation-wide important artists such as Vladimír Kokolia, Stanislav Kolíbal, members of the Club of Concretists and group Tvrdohlaví, and others.BACK TO COLLECTIONS