Once-hidden Vedutas on Display in Bratislava under Brazilian Patronage

(Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 18 (TASR) – Under the title ‘Secret Graphics’, the Museum of Svaty Anton (Banska Bystrica region) in Bratislava on Tuesday opened an exhibition of vedutas (large-scale paintings) from the 18th century that were discovered in a secret area of the Kohary-Coburg mansion in Svaty Anton during restoration work in the 1960s.

“I came to know the Museum of Svaty Anton last year, when its director Mr. [Marian] Ciz explained to me the historical connection between the mansion and Brazil. Two owners of the mansion, noblemen from the Kohary-Coburg dynasty, married two Brazilian princesses. So they visited Brazil several times, bringing back several souvenirs to the mansion. Our embassy in March of last year took part in an exhibition called ‘Birds’ with a special section entitled ‘Brazilian Birds’. I was pleased to see the historical premises of the Museum of Svaty Anton and these mysterious graphics,” said Brazilian Ambassador to Slovakia Susan Kleebank at the ceremonial opening of the exhibition at the Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel in Bratislava.

Kleebank at the exhibition welcomed several other ambassadors and Slovak Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna, as the Museum of Svaty Anton comes under her ministry’s remit. Matecna in her comments also mentioned the Slovak-Brazilian love story and mysterious graphics.

Although the stock list of the mansion from 1792 features 126 vedutas, only 78 have been preserved, of which 30 are on display at the exhibition. Created in 1719-56, the vedutas depict panoramic views of the historical centres of several cities with many other details, such as mountains in the background and ships drifting in the foreground. The cities include Bratislava, London, Madrid, Munich, Brno, Karlovy Vary (both Czech Republic), Innsbruck, Salzburg (both Austria), Warsaw, Venice, Geneva, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon and Turin.

“The Brazilian Ambassador in January proposed organising this exhibition in Bratislava during our Presidency of the Council of the European Union. These are copies of the best preserved graphics, with the originals being at our museum,” Ciz told TASR.

The exhibition will remain open until October 24.