Skip to main content

Signs of the Zodiac at Prague Cathedral


These images are part of a series of twelve, as of course Zodiac images usually are. They are attached to a fence that faces the Golden Gate entry to Prague's very old and very new St Vitus Cathedral, and were made between 1930 and 1955 by the Czech artist Jaroslav Horejc.


Well, that's easy for me to say now, but I've had to wade through quite a bit of misinformation to get there. And it was apparently easy also for our two One-Clue Mystery solvers this week, Professor Abe and George G.


The images come from a series of pictures I took at Prague's Saint Vitus Cathedral a few years ago; I'll never know why I stopped at nine of the twelve. At the time, I assumed they represented different trades, but by the time I posted one as an On The Go clip in 2015, I knew it was Zodiac.


I put them aside for another time, and only came on them again when I was assembling a blog about the Cathedral itself (see link above), and decided they would make an interesting piece themselves. 


I had also assumed that they were old. After all, the cathedral was. And interest in the Zodiac is. and... well, you know what they say about assumptions. And I clearly was not the only ones making them—Google for information about them, and you'll keep seeing references to the 14th century. But the more I looked at the images, this next one especially, I could not see 14th century; I saw Art Nouveau blending into Art Deco.


And sure enough, when I finally found an attribution to Horejc, he turned out to be exactly that guy. Apprenticed to an engraving shop at 14, he also studied metalsmithing, painting and other crafts. At 20, he became a student at the School of Applied Arts, paying his tuition by working as a plasterer. For 30 years, from 1918 he taught at the school, and worked at the arts, continuing even after he retired in 1948.

DSC05493Here's a pair of his other works, showing the same strengths in changing styles as he moved from Art Nouveau through neo-classicism to Art Deco and beyond. At left, a 1929 figure for the facade of the Ministry of Labor; at right 'Sitting Girl' from 1965.

And a memorial on the facade of the building he lived in for many years until his death in 1983 at age 96.


Images (9)
  • DSC05487
  • DSC05488
  • DSC05489
  • DSC05490
  • DSC05491
  • DSC05492
  • DSC05493
  • DSC05494
  • DSC05495

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.