Portrait paintings are some of the oldest as well as for the longest time preserved authentic staples of collections kept at Bohemian and Moravian castles and country houses. These images of ancestors, members of ruling dynasties, aristocratic families and celebrities form a heritage that decorated selected parts of stately homes for generations.

Today, portrait galleries give us the opportunity to see the reminders of personalities from families that used to make the country’s history but now are long gone. We can look into the faces of men and women whose fates became legends as well as fictional images of legendary ancestors made for their distant offspring by contemporary portrait artists.

The exhibition Images and Stories – Portraits of Renaissance Aristocracy presents a selection of preserved Renaissance portraits from the collections from Bohemian and Moravian castles and country houses. Short articles on eminent noble families give insight into the personalities and life stories of Renaissance Bohemian and Moravian aristocracy, both Catholic and Protestant. Objects related to heraldry and genealogy, archival materials and works of decorative art help to bring their world to life. The exhibited sets are supplemented with selected Renaissance portraits brought to the collections by aristocratic families who settled inBohemia andMoravia in later centuries.