The history of the National Gallery in Prague started to be written on 5 February 1796 when a group of significant representatives of the patriotically oriented Czech nobility along with several middle-class intellectuals from the ranks of Enlightenment movement decided (to put it in period terminology) to “elevate the deteriorated taste of the local public.”
The institution, which received the title Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts, established the Academy of Fine Arts and the Picture Gallery. In 1918 the Picture Gallery became a central collection of newly formed Czechoslovakia.
In 1995 a new gallery dedicated to modern art opened in the refurbished Veletržní Palác (Trade-fair Palace). It is one of the first and largest functionalism building in Prague, built in 1925-1928.
St. George’s Convent (Hradčany) was formerly used to display Art of the Middle Ages in Bohemia and Central Europe, Baroque art, and 19th-century art of Bohemia.
The international collection includes numerous works by artists such as Picasso (two self-portraits there, and two of his nudes in addition to more abstract work), Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin, Gauguin, Cézanne, Renoir, Schiele, Munch, Miró and Klimt (many of these are donations from the collection of art historian Vincenc Kramář).
The vast collection contains a large number of Czech and Slovak paintings and sculptures, including works by Alfons Mucha, Otto Gutfreund, František Kupka, Rudolf Fila, Vincenc Beneš and Bohumil Kubišta.
Six permanent exhibitions of the National Gallery in Prague – including Kinský Palace, Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia, Trade Fair Palace, Sternberg Palace, Schwarzenberg Palace, Salm Palace.
There are also short-term exhibitions, located in: