Manufacture of a copy of the statue of Venus and Cupid in the castle park, Lysá nad Labem, Czech Republic

venuse lysa

Zámecká 1/21, 289 22 Lysá nad Labem
Description of work:
Dismantling of the original statue
Manufacture of an identical copy  
The Town of Lysá nad Labem
Contractor: GEMA ART GROUP a.s.
2006 - 2007


Transfer to atelier Starting with renovation Work in progress Work in progress After restoration - copy After renovation - copy

  • History
  • Restoration work
  • More information

  The original Gothic castle in Lysá nad Labem was rebuilt during the years 1562 to 1567 in the Renaissance style and was intended as a summer residence for the Emperor Rudolf II. The work was carried out under the leadership of the renowned Renaissance architect B. Vohlmut, who, among other projects, also participated in the building of the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Kralovice and the Royal Belvedere (Summer Palace) at Prague Castle.
The castle estate was sold in 1647 to the aristocratic family of von Sporck, originally from German Westphalia, who arrived in the Czech lands at the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). The peak of building activity at the estate occurred during the time of Franz Anton von Sporck (1662-1738), who commissioned the rebuilding of the castle in the Baroque style. Further alterations, this time in the Neoclassical style, took place in the second half of the 18th century.
In 1938 the then owner of the castle, Countess Gabrielle Thurn and Taxis, sold the castle to the Ministry for Social Care, which used it as a home for disabled veterans of World War I. In 1952 the veterans were moved elsewhere and the castle was for a time turned into a school until it again served various army purposes. In 1961 the castle was converted into a care home for the elderly and remains as such at present. It is not open to visits by tourists.
The historically valuable set of sculptural works is situated in the castle park, which is open to public. The park, of the so-called French type, was founded in 1696 by Franz Anton Sporck. The sloping terrain of the park had to be levelled before the network of pathways could be created and hornbeam trees and flower beds planted. The nephew of the Count, Franz Karl Sweerts, expanded the parkland in the 1830s and established there one of the oldest English Parks in the Czech territory. His son completed the perimeter wall decorated with sculptural male and female busts and ornamental vases. Dating of the sculptures in the French Park is not firmly established – statues of Venus and Apollo originate probably from the 17th century.
Other sculptures are mostly from the 1730s and are the work of Matthias Bernard Braun. Most highly regarded is the cycle of four continents, depicting putti with attributes of each individual continent: Africa, America, Europe and Asia. Other sculptural works represent the allegories of Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Day and Night and of the four seasons embodied in antique gods and goddesses: Flora for Spring, Proserpine for Summer, Bacchus with a garland of vine leaves for Autumn and the mythical God of Fire Vulcan for Winter. The style of sculptures is typical of Braun's work, even if some parts show the influence of a probable cooperation with the sculptor František Adámek. The most eye-catching imagery is displayed in the sculptural cycle of the Twelve Months, which contains inscriptions of short poems. Other sculptures, found at present in the park, are depictions of the Sphinx, lions and lionesses dating from the mid 1750s. Their author is the sculptor Ignác František Platzer.
The statuary in the castle park in Lysá nad Labem is often compared to the famous cycle "Allegories of the Virtues and Vices", the work of Matthias Bernard Braun in Kuks in East Bohemia, another estate owned by Count Franz Anton von Sporck. Both of these locations display the best examples of the art of Baroque sculpture in the territory of the Czech Republic.

Specialist work provided by the company GEMA ART GROUP a.s. concerned the statue "Venus and Cupid" located in the castle park. The original dates back to 1696 and is made from fine grain sandstone of a greenish hue. Restoration work on the statue had been carried out previously in 1945 and most recently in 2002.

Dismantling of the original and manufacture of an identical copy:
As the statue is of significant cultural and historic value, it was decided to move it to a more suitable location in the former Augustinian monastery in the town of Nymburk, which currently houses a branch of the State Regional Archive. The statue had been professionally completely restored and consolidated in 2002. Specialists from GEMA ART GROUP a.s. cautiously dismantled the statue piece by piece and then moved it with the utmost care to the former monastery. The pieces were re-assembled with the aid of anticorrosive pegs and the joints overall reinforced with epoxide resin.
An identical copy of "Venus and Cupid" was made for the location in the castle park. The Goddess of Love Venus is depicted as a young woman in flowing drapery with her right hand touching the head of the playful Cupid and pointing his gaze into a distance. The copy was manufactured using the stone masonry "3 point" technique from material obtained in Lázně Mšená quarry. The copy was installed in the park after the restoration of the plinth was completed, in spring 2007.