The Black Monks and the beginnings of the Czech Sacral Architecture
• (Principal) Investigator:
Doc.PhDr. Petr Sommer, CSc.
• identification number:
• Realization:
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• Keywords:
Middle Ages, architecture, Bohemia

This fundamental research project based on primary sources stems from current (and probably limited duration) opportunities. For decades a range of depictions of Bohemian monasteries have been stored in closed depositories, inaccessible for research. They are now being returned to newly-established monastic foundations (while also appearing in revisions of museum, archive and gallery depositories), this presenting an exceptionally advantageous moment for listing, documenting and evaluating them. This relates in particular to depictions of Early Modern period monastic complexes, when the first attempts at restoring and reconstructing such areas were made. Until very recently, it has been overlooked that iconographic sources of this kind are sources in themselves for an understanding of the medieval appearances of the sites depicted. Formal oil paintings of monastic precincts, graphics, copperplates and drawings complement measured documentation in the form of realised and unrealised projects for and plans of cloistered areas, and can be compared to heritage, archaeological and intervention documentation. This project proposes to preserve these sources in the form of an annotated digital database (source edition) with basic classification, dating and location. Being saved (within the framework of the database system of the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague) on media guaranteeing the long term preservation of the data will mean the reliable storage of data obtained for future scholarly use at all levels.

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