Easel paintings

František Drtikol

Mother Earth, 1941

After finishing his photographic work Drtikol dedicated his life to painting. His visionary paintings are small-size works created as wet-in-wet technique as a painterly record during one day. “Mother Earth” is one of his often repeated themes. Painting is strongly soiled, original colour nuances of the image are intensively veiled in dirt.

Emil Filla

Still-life with an Owl, 1937

The strongly soiled painting by Czech cubist Emil Filla comes from the late period of his oeuvre. Colour contrast, diversity of surface texture glossy enamels and rough structures are obscured by layers of dirt. The radiant values of colour typical for his late cubist period and lively brushwork have lost their intensity .

Head of Saint

Unknown artist, early 18th century

Painting of high artistic quality without historically recorded origin, probably of Italian provenance. The extremely damaged painting has been kept off a stretcher. Paint layer is substantially detaching with its ground from the canvas. Surface with old varnish layer remained without over painting, and was only badly soiled.

The Map of Schwarzenberg Estate in Hluboka

1st half of 18th century

This oil painting depicts in close detail local settlements, villages, lakes and forests around Hluboka castle by the Schwarzenberg family. The painting had been stored for decades cut off from the frame and rolled up. This resulted in a number of folds, a vertical tear in the middle and diminished stability of paint layer. Surface is heavily soiled.

Head of a Man

Unknown artist, beginning of 18th century

Painting ‘without a past’ from a private collection probably German or Flemish origin.Picture is heavily destroyed; paint is detached from support which consists of several sheets of pasted paper broken in two parts in the middle.

Portrait of Ferdinand Meissner, Rector of Charles University

Unknown Painter, 1723

A fine baroque portrait by an unknown master. The painting had been treated in several stages during the past, destroyed by overcleaning, which has lead to scratches in the final layers of paint and diminished the stability between canvas and ground.

Josef Sima

Return of Ulysses, 1943

Sizable canvas by Josef Sima, who often worked on water-soluble chalk primed canvas with underpainting in distemper and subtle lean final paint. Insufficiently prepared ground together with tension of distemper is the cause for flaking of paint. While consolidating the painting there exist a potential risk of darkening the white ground and the painting itself. This problem had to be addressed during the conservation. White ground plays the role of reflective surface for thin washes of colour and locally becomes a part of the image of the painting which was never intended to be varnished.


Unknown artist early 15th century

Painting was found in the 1940s in a warehouse in London, its history being unknown. The painting had undergone hard restoration in the past when a wooden board had been removed and painting transferred onto a canvas support. Heavy destructions and losses were at that time resolved by retouching them in oil medium. Thus some of the passages of painting are misinterpreted to a certain extent.

Reclining Venus

1st half of 18th century

Period copy of a Venetian painting from Paris Bordon, Venus with Cupid owned by the National Museum in Warsaw. The original went through numerous collections and owners including Sir Peter Lely, Herman Goring and Adolf Hitler. Origin of this fairly close copy is unclear.

Jan Zrzavy

The Cross at the Village Square, 1959

At this minute painting Zrzavy used a fine technique of watercolour and tempera on white chalk ground applied over masonite board. Painting was then varnished with natural resin. Due to tension of breath-thin paint layer, flaking occurs and along with delaminating of paint from underlying fragile ground.