Fateful city of artists

Krumau an der Moldau

Many prominent personalities have hitched their fate to Český Krumlov over the city’s long history.

Its charm even bewitched one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Egon Schiele.

Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele

1890 - 1918

Slideshow
The house where Egon Schiele stay around 1911 © Český Krumlov, foto Ing. Libor Sváček

The house where Egon Schiele stay around 1911

The painter experienced a period full of happiness and wild inspiration here before the scandalized townsfolk ran him out of Krumlov. Repairs on the house are currently being finished, and soon people will be able to visit the place where the famous artist stayed. They will see copies of his furniture and reproductions of drawings and oil paintings which were either created in Krumlov or were inspired by Schiele’s stay in this city. Over the winter the house will serve as a studio for talented artists.

Český Krumlov became an inspiration for Egon Schiele's work

Český Krumlov became an inspiration for Egon Schiele's work

Český Krumlov became an inspiration for Egon Schiele's work

Český Krumlov became an inspiration for Egon Schiele's work

Český Krumlov became an inspiration for Egon Schiele's work

Český Krumlov became an inspiration for Egon Schiele's work

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Disgusted with Vienna, in 1910 moved to a small house near the river Vltava in the city where his mother was born and which he knew from short stays during his studies. As he wrote in letters from that time, he wanted to be alone and to see new things – dark water, cracking trees, impressive churches, and to rejoice in damp blue-green valleys and create new things. Český Krumlov became his sanctuary for a time, and his work was enriched by new motifs here. He sought subject matter in the streets of the old town, painting it from the unusual perspectives of the surrounding hills or the castle tower. Thanks to his paintings, we can still see the “City on the Blue River”, as he called it, through his eyes.

Since 1992, the artist’s heritage has been cared for by the Egon Schiele Art Centre, which offers a generous space for contemporary art exhibitions right in the heart of the city and each year invites young artists to Krumlov for residency programmes. 

Photos: Egon Schiele Art Centre, Stanislav Kolíbal 2003 (©Egon Schiele Art Centrum)

 

Almost exactly a century after Egon Schiele worked here, the life paths of the Czech-Italian art duo who call themselves AA fatefully intersected in Krumlov. The artists inscribed themselves in local consciousness with art actions done directly in the streets. Their most visible work was a big collage on the facade of the Schiele Centre. The artists still honour the legacy of their famous predecessor, and thanks to them Krumlov is not a “dead city”, but a place where contemporary art transforms and enlivens the environment, and surprises visitors at various locations.