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Eliška Fučíková

Zeichnungszyklus der Habsbuger Herrscher im Nationalarchiv in Prag — Werkstatt Jörg Breu ml., Hans Tirol und dessen Wirken in Böhmen

There are thirty -eight drawings deposited in the National Archive in Prague representing the members of the Habsburg dynasty, together with a letter from the Archduke Ferdinand II to his brother, King Maximilian II. The Czech Regent arranged for him, in July 1563, the handing over of documents offered by Hans Tirol, the former court builder. From the attached report it emerges that Tirol entered court service in 1552, but because of dissatisfaction with his work he was replaced in 1556 by Bonifác Wohlmut. Tirol further appears in official documents chiefly in connection with the exaction of settlement and accounting documents for the build- ings realised in Prague Castle. Tirol came to Prague from Augsburg, where he was linked with two codices, today kept in the Eton College Library and in the library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Their painted decoration was carried out by the workshop of the Augsburg painter Jörg Breu the Younger. Although Tirol trained under Hans Breu the Elder, in Augsburg he was listed as a foreman bricklayer and later as a builder. The above -mentioned drawings are also the work of copyists from the workshop of Jörg Breu the Younger. Their models, reverse impressions of original drawings that have not been preserved, were used in the illustration of both codices and are dated 1544. In 1547 Tirol took over the leadership of the workshop after the death of Breu the Younger, and at that time they completed the codex from Escorial. The builder brought the drawings to Prague, where the first opportunity to offer them for use was the construction of the Hvězda Summer Palace (1555). The fifty niches on the ground floor, on the staircase and on the first floor of the summer palace strongly recall in shape the depiction of Ferdinand’s Ambrass collection in the printed catalogue of 1603. Although Tirol was not entrusted with the building of the Hvězda, he may have offered the afore-mentioned drawings as inspiration for its internal decoration. Does the catalogue intimate the planned placing of the Archduke‘s collection in the Hvězda? This did not happen because the Archduke, as the new ruler of the Tyrol, moved his residence and his collections to there.

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