Mucha – Drnek – Epos / Original of the Original

Opening: 18. 4. 2024 at 6 pm
Exhibition duration: 19. 4. 2024 – 2. 6. 2024
Space Q, Hlavná 27, Košice

The exhibition Mucha - Drnek - Epos brings visitors closer to the individual pictorial details of the Slavonic Epic and the stories of how this unique project came into being.

The Slavonic Epic is the culminating work of Alfons Mucha. In it he captured the history of the Slavic peoples. He worked on it between 1910 and 1928 at the Zbiroh Castle. He created 20 large-format unique canvases. In 1928, the Epos was ceremoniously handed over as a gift to the city of Prague. For almost 100 years, the Slavonic Epic has enjoyed success all over the world. In 2017, an exhibition of the entire cycle was held in Japan. It was the third most visited art exhibition in the world that year.

In 2016, photographer Jan William Drnek assembled a team to digitize this globally admired work, and together they created a unique book that shows previously undiscovered details of each canvas. The book is complemented by texts by renowned historians, curators and philosophers such as Miroslav Petříček, philosopher and professor at Charles University, and Václav Cílek, writer, philosopher and popularizer of science. The patron of the project is Jarmila Mucha Plocková, granddaughter of Alfons Mucha. In 2018, the project received a blessing and an epistle from Patriarch Bartholomew I.

About the author

Jan William Drnek

Jan William Drnek was born in 1960 in Strakonice. Since childhood he has been interested in technical and natural sciences. He studied cybernetics with a focus on mathematical models and control at the Czech Technical University in Prague. He has been involved in photography and its creation for more than 50 years.

He is one of the few photographers to master all stages of the production of a photograph, and he does it perfectly. From the theory of human perception, shooting and digital post-production through printing to editing. He is the world's leading expert in color management of printing technologies.

His work since 2000 has focused on the challenging techniques of high-resolution panoramic large-format photography and HDR techniques. His portfolio includes a number of successful exhibitions, especially with landscape and portrait themes. In the summer of 2010, he exhibited a series of large-format photographs created in close collaboration with architect Bořek Šípek in New York as part of the Talking Glass project. His last major retrospective exhibition, entitled TIMELAPSE, took place in autumn 2022 at the Myslbek Gallery in Prague.

Jan William Drnek's largest and most comprehensive project to date has been the digitisation of Alfons Mucha's Slavic Epos. For this highly specific commission, it was necessary to develop a technology that would not only capture all the details of the large canvases, but also preserve the colour fidelity of the work. Based on this extensive and technically demanding creation, a completely unique work of epic art was created in 2019.

In recent years, Jan William Drnek has devoted himself exclusively to photographing works of art and sacred buildings. He is the author of the official photographs of the Czech Crown Jewels.

In 2020 he photographed the Gothic altar of Master Paul in Levoča in a very special and unique way. In 2022, a narrative pictorial publication Metropolitan Cathedrals was published, featuring the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Košice and the Cathedral of St. Martin in Bratislava. In March this year, a pictorial pictorial book of St. Elizabeth's Cathedral was christened in Košice. All of the above publications were produced thanks to the warm cooperation with the Slovak publishing house IKAR.

This exhibition is brought to you in cooperation with the book publishing house IKAR.

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