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Art and Heritage in Central Europe

“Jan a Jan. Legends of John of Nepomuk and John Sarkander in Visual Art” Exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum Olomouc

Art and Heritage in Central Europe

They were real celebrities in the Baroque period: both Jan Nepomucký and Jan Sarkander were among the most popular saints of Baroque Moravia and the new exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum Olomouc, entitled simply “Jan and Jan”, is dedicated to them, or rather to their depiction in art.

As the subtitle of the exhibition suggests – Legends of Jan Nepomucký and Jan Sarkander in visual art – the majority of the works are connected with the stories that were created around the lives of both saints. “We offer visitors over sixty works referring to both saints. There are medals, devotional prints, sculptures and monumental altarpieces. Certainly interesting are the graphic works that were published in large editions, which were financially accessible to the general public and through them spread the cult of the saints not only in our country but also to the world,” says the author of the exhibition Simona Jemelková.

Veneration of the two saints flourished most during the Baroque period, in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was a time of fervent Christian faith, a time when Catholic Christianity was revived after the horrors of the Thirty Years War. After the Enlightenment and the revolutions of the late 18th and first half of the 19th century, when the strained Baroque Catholicism was rejected and anti-Catholic attacks were frequent, the second half of the 19th century brought a certain revival of the Christian Catholic faith and veneration of the two saints came to the fore again. This was reflected in the beatification of John Sarkander in 1859. For the first time ever, visitors will have the opportunity to see recently restored paintings by the German painter Julius Muhr, who worked in Rome in the 1850s. The third period of growing interest, this time especially in Jan Sarkander, came after the November Revolution, when Pope John Paul II declared Jan Sarkander a saint during his visit to Olomouc in 1995.

The exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum Olomouc is open from 05.10.2023 to 28.01.2024

Read more: https://muo.cz/en/vystavy/john-and-john/

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