Josef Václav Myslbek / St Wenceslas
His 1890 bronze Crucifix for the tomb of Baron Ringhoffer at Kamenice, a cast of which is placed above one of the altars of the Sacré-Coeur basilica in Paris, is a timeless work. In 1888 the Ministry of Religion and Public Education commissioned an equestrian statue of St Wenceslas, which would become Myslbek’s cardinal work and a modern symbol of Czech statehood. He created a series of drawings, studies and proposals for the statue, which was completed a year after his death. It is a combination of classicist and realistic form and reality confronts the legends and stories of fabled Slavonic heroes. Myslbek’s ability to celebrate pagan slavdom using modern means of expression lends his oeuvre a timeless dimension.