Prague City Gallery – Bílek Villa (Bílkova vila)

This villa atelier in Prague's Castle District was built by František Bílek from 1910–1911 according to his own design. The building’s architecture is very carefully thought out. It symbolises a wheat field and demonstrates the author's convictions regarding the relationships and analogies between nature and artistic creation. In addition to František Bílek's atelier, you can also view an exhibition of his early studies and sketches, mainly from the years 1891–1903.

Building history

An interesting object of his own family villa and a studio was designed up until the smallest details by the sculptor, painter and graphic designer, mystic and symbolist František Bílek (1872 – 1941) himself in 1910.The villa was built in 1911 by a builder Antonín Hulán. The entire project was pervaded by the idea of a cornfield; the ground plan of the object represents the trace of a scythe in a cornfield, the stone pillars are stylized straws and spikes; the field was also symbolized by the object’s flat roof, the first one of this type in Prague. This main idea was also completed in the interior – carved doors, wrought door handles shaped as spikes. There are carved symbols on the bookcase, the wardrobes and chairs; there is a winter garden in a recess with white furniture. The owner even designed his own heating. The entire interior is interconnected by narrow corridors or little windows. The villa built in a Symbolist style (Secession) in the beginning of the century with red bricks, white window frames and graded balconies is one of the unique Prague buildings. The villa became a home, a studio, and a gallery for František Bílek. By the staircase in the garden, there is Bílek’s sandstone sculptural group named Komenský is parting from his country from 1926. For a long time, Prague could not find a good place for this sculpture, and in the end the annoyed author placed it in his own garden. Originally, it was probably a place for the statue of Moses, which is now placed next to the Old New Synagogue in a small park between Maisel Street and Pařížská Street.

František Bílek died in 1941, and a year later the Bílek Gallery was established in the villa and his studio was opened for public. In 1963, Bílek’s wife donated the entire object to the City of Prague with an idea that a monument would be created here, including the original equipment of the rooms. The Gallery of the Capital City of Prague only fulfilled this legacy in 1993. The last reconstruction of Bílek’s villa ended on the 15th May 1999, when it was re-opened for public. However, the collection of furniture displayed is not complete, as a part of it was kept by the artist’s granddaughter, who lives in the United States. There are sculptures, drawings and graphic sheets of František Bílek in the exposition.

Villa Bílek has been the property of the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague since 1963.

In autumn 2007, an extensive reconstruction of the interior and the garden around the villa started. A Centre of František Bílek was established with an archive of František Bílek. After the reconstruction, villa Bílek was made accessible in September 2010 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the construction.

Opening hours

january - december

Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00 - 18:00

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Mickiewiczova 1
11800 Praha 1