Lot 15
Vincenc Morstadt (1802 - 1875) THREE VISTAS OF PRAGUE

Ca. 1830
Colored etching on paper
35 x 53 cm (h x w)

Starting price
30 000 CZK
   |   1 176 €
Price realized
60 000 CZK
   |   2 353 €
price without premium

1. Prague Castle District (Hradčany)

2. New Town, Vyšehrad, Smíchov

3. Letná

This collection of three vedute were made by Vincenc Morstadt, an acclaimed Bohemian painter and illustrator who was primarily known as a landscape and veduta artist and for his numerous prints and albums. Morstadt's work is based in the traditions of drawing-based vedute of cities in the Empire style, with primary characteristics including objectivity, descriptiveness, restraint, minute detail and a faithful recording of the image. His prints, which display his perfect mastery of technique and skill, became highly popular among publishers and buyers; hardly an album appeared that did not feature his name.

Originally from a German family, Vincenc Morstadt came to Prague when he was eleven to study at Charles University’s Faculty of Law. As a graduate he worked at the Regional Court in Loket (Elbogen) in 1834-1850; this is the source of his oldest prints of the landscape around Loket, Carlsbad and the surrounding area, including the Svatoš rock formations (Hans-Heiling-Felsen) on the Ohře (Eger) River. He continued his legal career at the courts in Trutnov (Trautenau) and Hradec Králové (Königgrätz). He lived out the rest of his life in Prague, where a plaque is dedicated to him on Tomášská Street in Prague’s Lesser Quarter. He maintained contacts with František Palacký, Václav Vladivoj Tomek and other leading figures in the Czech National Revival and continued to make sketches in the streets of Prague until shortly before his death.

Morstadt depicted the major buildings, streets and public spaces of important Bohemian cities and towns, filling them with genre figures of burghers, craftsmen and tradesmen. Most of his works were made during his legal career; originally pencil drawings, he usually had them transferred to etchings and colorized by printmakers or lithographers. These prints were then assembled into albums.