Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague: Objects of Eternity

Carlos Relvas – Objects of Eternity

23. 5. 2013 – 15. 9. 2013
small gallery
Curator: David Korecký

Landscape. Portugal, 1876-1878, New toned print from collodion wet plate negative

Galerie Rudolfinum is exhibiting a representative profile of the works of Carlos Relvas (1838-1894), a founding figure of Portuguese photography. The exhibition is conceived as a tour exhibition, and after its premiere in Prague it will head to other European cities.

about the exhibition

After more than a century of oblivion, the works of Carlos Relvas, full of enchantment from the newly-formed medium of that time, will return for the first time through this exhibition to the European photographic scene. Relvas, who came from the city of Golegã in the valley of the Tejo River, region which is known for bredding Lusitanian horses, realized his dream of becoming a pioneer of photographic art. His desire to experiment and exceptional creative sense led him to masterful performances in many photographic genres, as well as several inventions. Relvas was truly a cosmopolitan scholar; he corresponded with the leading personalities of European photography, made many trips throughout Europe, visiting and sending his works to important fairs and exhibitions, where he regularly received awards for his photographs. In 1869 he became a member of the French Photographic Society. Although he always considered himself an amateur photographer, he was one of the most sought-after portraitists. He belonged to the intellectual, artistic and scientific elite of his time, and his library contained about four thousand books – not only about art, but also about optics, chemistry and philosophy. Carlos Relvas died at the age of 55 from a riding accident and he disappeared from the public limelight for more than a hundred years. Efforts to recall Carlos Relvas were crowned with the issuing of a monograph and exhibition at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon in 2003. The city of Golegã managed to restore his Art Nouveau studio in 2006 and handle his estate, which includes about 13,000 negatives.

The exhibition Carlos Relvas – Objects of Eternity, prepared in close collaboration with city of Golegã, curated by David Korecky is presenting Relvas’ work in seven chapters: Objects of Eternity, Landscapes and Architecture, Portraits, At the Farm, Ships and Seascapes, Daily Life, and Artist’s Studio. This exhibition will be after more than a hundred years pause his first presentation out of Portugal.

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