The Sculpture of Praha, Czech Republic
Prague has many things going for it. The food is noteworthy. The people are down-to-earth. The scenery is captivating. And the museums are some of the most unique in Europe. Walking the streets in Prague you feel the vibrancy of its old world beauty and a strong tinge of avant-garde. The public art and sculpture in Prague are one of the highlights of this grand city. From classic religious iconography to extraordinarily uncommon works of modern art there is a great variety of stupendous sculpture. Prague in itself is a one of a kind and its public art is no different.
“Provocation is the amplified reason why the art exists.” -David Cerny
David Cerny is one of the Czech Republic’s most notable artists. His controversial sculptures in Prague are the best photo-ops in the whole city. The giant space-age babies are his coolest pieces. A number of them are seen crawling around the Vltava River. It’s almost like they are guarding the Kampa Museum. Perhaps they are. They have an eerie presence but are also kind of adorable. They also can be seen climbing up the Zizkov Television Tower. Cerny’s babies aren’t like anything you’ve ever seen. Cerny is also responsible for the “Piss” statue outside of the Kafka Museum.
“Description of a Struggle”
The country’s most notable writer would have to be Franz Kafka. Though he was a German language writer he was actually from Prague. His presence still remains a strong one in the city. This sculpture by Jaroslav Rona is in the Jewish Quarter of Prague and also where Kafka grew up. The piece is based on Kafka’s short story, “Description of a Struggle.”
“And now, with a flourish, as though it were not the first time.. I leapt onto the shoulders of my acquaintance, and by digging my fists into his back I urged him into a trot. But since he stumped forward rather reluctantly and sometimes even stopped, I kicked him in the belly several times with my boots, to make him more lively. It worked and we came fast enough into the interior of a vast but as yet unfinished landscape.”
The statue is sandwiched between a Jewish Synagogue and a church. Religious animosity at the time in Prague must have greatly shaped Kafka and his writings. The statue is an homage to the man and his background.
Prague’s most notable point of interest is without a doubt Karlův Most (aka Charles Bridge). And with good reason. This bridge is nothing short of a fairy tale thanks to rows of amazing Baroque sculptures. The thirty pieces from Bohemia’s best sculptures of the 1600’s and 1700’s are breathtaking. The experience of walking over water while viewing these masterpieces is one to remember. Viewing these pieces is a top bucket list priority for travelers in Europe.