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Challenge and Risk: The Parlerian Statues on the Old Town Tower of Charles Bridge. A Reinterpretation

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    0446955 - ÚDU 2016 RIV CZ eng J - Journal Article
    Hlobil, Ivo
    Challenge and Risk: The Parlerian Statues on the Old Town Tower of Charles Bridge. A Reinterpretation.
    Umění = Art. Roč. 63, 1/2 (2015), s. 2-33. ISSN 0049-5123
    R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-39192S
    Institutional support: RVO:68378033
    Keywords : Prague * Charles Bridge * statues * interpretation
    Subject RIV: AL - Art, Architecture, Cultural Heritage
    http://www.umeni-art.cz/cz/issue-detail.aspx?v=issue-issue-2479

    Ideas as to the approximate period in which the Old Town Bridge Tower decoration first arose fluctuate around the time of the death of Charles IV (1378). The importance of this sculptural decoration has been studied by Karel Stejskal, Rudolf Chadraba, Jaromír Homolka, Ivo Kořán and finally Jakub Vítovský. This article briefly recapitulates the conclusions drawn by these historians. The interpretation of the remarkable collection of monumental Parlerian sculptures is a great challenge for scholars, and brings with it considerable risk of erroneous conclusions and fabulations. The author of this article has added his own ideas to this reinterpretation. He notes that the established naming of the "western" and "eastern" frontages of the Old Town Bridge Tower are useful for orientation purposes, but that from a historical perspective they are not adequate. The author considers that from an analytically it is more suitable to call the western frontage "Old Town" and the eastern frontage "imperial or royal". He explains the presence of the lion above the statues of Charles IV and Wenceslas IV as a symbol of their eternal life. He goes on to draw attention to the largely overlooked report by V. F. Welleba from 1827 that proves beyond doubt the existence of the St Wenceslas column in front of the tower frontage. This has consequences for the interpretation of the sculptural decoration of the tower.
    Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/11104/0248905
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