El Greco in Prague : Modernism and the reception of an Old Master

Matthew Rampley

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Emil Filla (1882-1953) was one of the leading modernist painters working in Prague before the First World War. Anxious to avoid the limitations of the provincial art world of Prague, he avidly consumed the most advanced artistic practices of the major art centres of the time, culminating in a quite personal appropriation and interpretation of Cubism. A close reading of Filla’s article reveals obvious traces of Vienna School thinking; the most striking is his repeated reference to the artistic will (vůle umělecká) which is a direct Czech translation of Riegl’s ‘Kunstwollen’. Filla’s interest, too, in how El Greco treated spatial relations, bears more than a passing resemblance to Riegl’s exploration of figure-ground relations in Late Roman Art Industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8-EF/1
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Art Historiography
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Mánes Association
  • Czech Cubism
  • Skupina výtvarných umělců
  • Julius Meier-Graefe
  • Max Dvořák
  • El Greco


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