Portraits of Max Lobkowicz by František Drtikol
at Nelahozeves Castle
Every year, the curators at the Lobkowicz Collections prepare a temporary exhibition of archival materials not normally available to the public. This year, visitors can look forward to portraits of diplomat Maximilian Lobkowicz (1888-1967) taken by internationally renowned Czech photographer, František Drtikol.
František Drtikol (1883-1961) was born in Příbram, where he studied photography. In 1912, he set up his own studio on Vodičkova Street in Prague. It became a regular meeting place for Czech artists, and many famous personalities had their portraits taken there. In addition to portraits, František Drtikol is also famous for his photographs of nudes, which made exceptional use of light and shadow. Interestingly, Drtikol originally wanted to be a painter, and trained as a photographer against his will. He returned to painting and drawing only after 1935. He retired at the height of his fame, sold off his studio equipment, and devoted his time to his hobbies.
Drtikol's photography studio was particularly famous for portrait photography. Having a portrait taken "at Drtikol’s" became very fashionable. Maximilian Lobkowicz, who was a diplomat in the service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Republic from 1920 to 1948, commissioned a series of portraits from Dritkol in 1925. The most important stage of his career was his tenure as the Czechoslovak envoy and later ambassador to the Beneš government-in-exile (Establishment of Provisional State) established in London during the Second World War. After a communist coup in 1948, Maximilian Lobkowicz went into exile in the United States of America.
In addition to the well-known and often-published version of his portrait with folded hands, which Max used as his official photograph, several other versions are preserved in the Lobkowicz Archive, most of which have never been shown to the public.
Until July 11th, visitors will have a unique opportunity to view the original photographs from 1925, which will be displayed in the prince’s study in our permanent exhibition at Nelahozeves castle. In order to protect the originals from light damage, they will be replaced by high-quality reproductions which faithfully imitate the period images.