JAROSLAV CERMAK : Vieillesse de Lomnicky-z-Budce Signed and dated J. Cermak 1853 Paris Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 119.4 cm (36 x 47 inches) PROVENANCE: • Count Eugen Karl Czernin (1796-1868), Vienna, commissioned directly from the artist in 1851 • Count Franz Jaromir Eugen Czernin (1857-1932), Vienna • Count Eugen Czernin (1892-1955), Vienna, inherited from the above in 1933 • Private Collection of Fritz and Lilly Shaecter, Budapest, until the late 1940s, thence brought with them to Queens, New York in 1949 • Gifted to Robert and Koka Wollman (the Broadway singer and actress, Julieska (Juliette) Koka) in 1987 • Juliette Koka’s Estate, until May 2011 • Private Collection, New Jersey EXHIBITED: • Paris, Salon, 1853, no. 216 (awarded "mention honorable") • Prague, Zofin Island annual exhibition, 1854 • Brussels, Salon, 1854 • Vienna, Vom Local-Comite in Wien, 1888, no. 99 • Official request from The National Gallery in Prague for a special exhibition dedicated to the present work at the Sternberg Palace (Permanent Collection of Old Masters), also to include an accompanying exhibition catalogue LITERATURE: L'Illustration, Journal Universel, Paris, Vol. XXI, No. 538, 18 June 1853, p. 392, illustrated Anton Ritter von Perger, Ősterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst, Vienna, 1853, p. 236 Ferdinand B. Mikovec, Lumir: Jaroslav Cermak, Prague, Vol. IV, issue 42, 19 October 1854, pp. 1001-1002 Victor V. Joly, Les Beaux-Arts en Belgique de 1848 à 1857, Brussels, 1857, p. 163 Catalog der Gemälde-Gallerie Seiner Excellenz des Grafen Jaromir Czernin von Chudenitz in Wien, Vienna, c. 1869, p. 29, catalogue number 298. Adolf F. Seubert, Allgemeines Kunstlerlexicon, Stuttgart, 1878, Vol. 1, p. 333 Josef Fric, Světozor: Vzpomínka na Jaroslava Čermáka, Prague, 1886, p. 604, illustrated John D. Champlin and Charles C. Perkins, Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings, Vol. I, New York and London, 1888, p. 362 Jan Otto, Ottuv Slovnik Naucny, Prague, 1893, Vol. 6, p. 599 Count Antoine Seilern, Wiener Galerien, Vienna, c. 1900, published by V.A. Heck, illustrated as the seventh plate Frantisek X. Harlas, Malirstvi, Prague, 1908, p. 35 Wassily J. Knoch, Guide to Count Czernin's Picture Gallery, c. 1910, p. 15, no. 298 Henri Hantic, L'Art tchèque au XIXe siècle, Paris and Prague, 1910, pp. 9-10 Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, Leipzig, 1912, Vol. 7/8, p. 242 Frantisek X. Harlas, Jaroslav Cermak, Prague, 1914, illustrated as the second plate Frantisek Zakavec, Umeni: Po jubilejní výstavě Jaroslava Čermáka (1878-1928), Prague, 1929, Vol. 2, pp. 152-154, illustrated p. 155 George C. Williamson, Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, London, 1930, Vol. 1, p. 277 Vratislav Cerny, Frantisek V. Mokry, Vaclav Naprstek, Život a dílo Jaroslava Čermáka, Prague, 1930, pp. 28-30, illustrated as plate 4 Emmanuel Siblik, Le peintre Jaroslav Cermak 1830-1878, Prague and Paris, 1930, pp. 18, 20 Karl Wilczek, Katalog der Graf Czernin'schen Gemäldegalerie in Wien, Vienna, 1936, p. 28, catalogue number 298 Prokop Toman, Nový slovník československých výtvarných umělců, Prague, 1947, p. 142 Vojtech Volavka, Ceska kresba XIX stoleti, Prague, 1949, pp. 92, 94 Frantisek V. Mokry, Jaroslav Cermak, Prague, 1953, pp. 10, 11, 27, illustration of the preparatory charcoal drawing as plate 16 Vojtech Volavka, Ceske Malirstvi a Socharstvi 19. Stoleti, Prague, 1968, p. 128 Frantisek Kozik, Pouta vernosti: Roman o zivote a dile malire Jaroslava Cermaka, Prague, 1971, p. 60-62, and p. 325 for illustration of the preparatory charcoal drawing Vera Soukupova, Jaroslav Cermak, Prague, 1981, pp. 24, 81, illustrated p. 15 Eva Reitharova, Adolf Kosarek, Prague, 1984, pp. 6, 10 Pierre Sanchez and Xavier Seydoux, Les Catalogues des Salons, Vol. VI (1852-1857), Paris, 1999, p. 68 Marie Mzykova, Kridla slavy: Vojtech Hynais, cesti Parizane a Francie, Prague, 2001, Vol. 1, p. 143, illustrated Benezit, Dictionary of Artists, Paris, 2006, vol. 3, p. 664 Petra Kozlova, Osobnost Jaroslava Čermáka a jeho přínos pro zviditelnění Černé Hory v Čechách, Dissertation, Masaryk University, Brno, 2010, pp. 9-10 Zdenek Hojda, La patrie et la foi: Exil religieux après la Montagne Blanche dans la tradition du 19e siècle, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (online paper) NOTE: Cermak was only twenty years old when he received the prestigious commission from Count Eugen Karl Czernin (1796-1868) for the present painting which depicts a patriotic scene from Czech history. It was awarded an honorable mention at the Paris Salon of 1853 and was one of only four paintings from the exhibition selected to be illustrated in that year’s article on the Salon in Illustration - Journal Universel (18 June 1853). The painting received further accolades the following year when it was exhibited in both Prague and Brussels . This work depicts Simon Lomnicky of Budec (1552-1622), the former Court Poet of Emperor Rudolf II, begging on the Charles Bridge in Prague. On the losing side in the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants raging in Bohemia after Rudolf II's death, Lomnicky was stripped of his title and all possessions after The Battle of White Mountain (1620) which saw the definitive defeat of the Protestant side. The young poet Lomnicky is shown seated on the wall looking down on his elder self. Cermak himself described the subject of the painting in a note in the Paris Salon catalogue as follows: "Lomnicky, gentilhomme bohémien, poète du roi Rodolphe II, fut dépouillé de tous ses biens et honneurs pour avoir pris part à la guerre de l'indépendance de la Bohême contre l'Autriche. Réduit ainsi à la plus extrême misère, il fut contraint, dans sa vieillesse, à mendier pour vivre, en chantant ses poésies sur le pont de Prague." Cermak made a fairly complete preparatory charcoal drawing for the Lomnicky picture shown below (reproduction from FV Mokry's 1953 monograph): By the early 19th Century the Czernin Collection was widely considered the greatest private collection of paintings in Austria and the commission of the present work by Count Czernin firmly established the artist’s reputation (see Seubert 1878, Williamson 1930 and Mokry 1953). Born into a prominent Prague family, Jaroslav Cermak began his artistic training in 1848 at the Prague Academy and continued his studies a year later in Belgium under Louis Gallait (1810-1887). In 1851 Cermak settled in Paris where he lived for the rest of his life except for prolonged sojourns in Montenegro and Rome. Cermak was also a leading proponent of the “Czech National Revival” movement which sought the revival of Czech language, culture and national identity. Cermak became well known both in his adopted homeland (France) as well as his native land where he was offered the Directorship of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in 1873 (which he turned down). Cermak is a seminal figure in Czech art history who led the transformation of his nation's painting from Romanticism to Realism and was the first prominent Czech artist to settle in Paris.