Bratislava City Gallery ­– Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic

Municipal Theatre in Prešporok / Selected Works from the GMB collections. | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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The collections of the City Gallery of Bratislava house almost 33,000 works of art.


Municipal Theatre in Prešporok / Selected Works from the GMB collections.

Pálffy Palace (show Contact)
24. 6. 2016 - 18. 9. 2016
Curator: Mgr. Martina Vyskupová

Bratislava (former Prešporok) was as the temporary capital of the Kingdom of Hungary since the early 17th century the most important centre of theatre in our country. In the last third of the 18th century was built the first stone theatre in Bratislava, or in Upper Hungary - Municipal Theatre in Bratislava, somewhere close to the place of today´s historical building of the Slovak National Theatre. With the funds of Count Juraj Csáky de Körösszegh et Adorján IV it was possible to build the building. The theatre was officially opened to the public in September 1776. In the beginning of the 1880ies the city officials started to consider the reconstruction of the theatre and it was pulled down due to unsatisfactory technical condition in the autumn of 1884. The new theatre was designed by an architectural studio based in Vienna (Atelier Fellner & Helmer) run by reputable theatre designers Ferdinand Fellner Jr. and Hermann Gottlieb Helmer, which was built on the site of the older building. It was officially opened in September 1886

The Bratislava City Gallery houses a remarkable collection of works relating to both the 1776 theatre building and that of 1886 (until 1920, i.e. until the establishment of the Slovak National Theatre). It is a set of prints, paintings, drawings and statues executed in the period between the last third of the eighteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. In case of the 18th century building one can mention a representative portrait of its patron, Count J. Csáky or numerous prints and paintings of the Theatre Square and theatre building by many famous and lesser-known artists. Among the remarkable collection items are a watercolour by the Austrian painter Balthasar Wigand and prints executed by a famous painter of town interiors a vedute of Bratislava, Karol Hugo Frech. In the gallery collection also stand out prints by Austrian graphic artists Johann Vincenz Reim, Franz Hablitschek or Franz Xaver (Josef) Sandmann, who created a precise graphic interpretation after a drawing of an outstanding Viennese painter and engraver Rudolf von Alt. Interesting is also the print by  Antal (Anton) József Strohmayer, watercolours by Bratislava-based amateur painter Viktor Benesch or painting by J. (Josef?) Neverla.

The second theatre building can be seen in a preparatory drawing made by a works foreman, Anton Keusch. The Bratislava City Gallery also houses two out of four excellent preparatory works for a mural attributed to Willibald Leo Freiherr von Lütgendorff-Leinburg. Bratislava-based artist Kornel Spányik made a few paintings after them, which can still be found in a salon of the historical building of the Slovak National Theatre. Worthy of remark are also four busts representing significant playwrights and composers: Johann Wolfgang Goethe, József Katona, Franz Liszt and William Shakespeare. They are present in the form of the casts with the bust of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which replaced that of Mihály Vörösmaty. Attention should also be paid to the collection of preparatory watercolours for various stage settings from the turn of the twentieth century by Gustáv Wintersteiner, Bratislava-based painter who became, after his father’s death in 1894, a set designer of the Municipal Theatre. Wintersteiner´s impressive preparatory watercolour for the iron curtain, with a veduta of Bratislava in the background, and a preparatory painting for the curtain from the first Municipal Theatre are worth mentioning too.


Attention needs be paid also to a selection of objects and reproductions of photographs and postcards relating to the former Municipal Theatre in Bratislava, which can be found in the collections of the Bratislava City Museum, the State Archive in Bratislava, and the Slovak National Gallery.

Publications for this exhibition

Municipal Theatre in Prešporok
Authors: Martina Vyskupová, Jana Laslavíková
Price: 7,-€


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