Art and Archeology

Art and Archeology, February 1921

The Archeological Institute of America

Art in Czechoslovakia




The art of the Early Historic period was the Czechoslovak art proper; but it was perisliable art which left little if anything to posterity, except in survivals. It was the art of the frame dwelling, of the carved statue of the pagan deity, of possibly some carved or painted utensils and furniture, and of the woven, embroidered or painted decoration. There was also some art in pottery, weapons and jewelery, but this was probably less truly native, and belongs also more to the field of archaeology. There were surely abundant folk dances and folk songs with poetry and mimicry. Survivals of much of this can be traced, and that in wide distribution, to this day, but records are very fragmentary.

The christening of the Czech Duke Borivoj in 874, by the Macedonian apostles, Cyril and Methodius, which was soon followed by the Christianization of the whole nation, makes a sharp boundary in art development. Under Byzantine and then Byzantine-Roman influence, characteristic church and later on monaster and convent structures arise, remnants of which may be found in Czechoslovakia to this day; and architecture is soon followed by church painting, sculpture and carving. In the course of time as cities grow there is also a development of lay architec¬ture with decoration and artistic work in metals. The Dukes and then Kings, the nobles, the wealthy merchants,

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