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Bohemian family of statesmen, patrons and collectors. Like the Rožmberk family, they were descended from the medieval Lords of the Rose. Jáchym Hradec (b 14 July 1526; d 12 Dec 1565) was educated at the Habsburg court in Vienna and in 1554 became Lord Chancellor of Bohemia. He commissioned the Italian Antonio Drizzan for the reconstruction (begun 1560) of the family's castle at Jindřichův Hradec as a large Renaissance palace; in 1560–62 Drizzan also renovated the Hradec Palace in Prague, and in 1563–6 he effected the Renaissance transformation of the large fortified castle of Hluboká. In the old monastery of the Minorites at Jindřichův Hradec, Jáchym Hradec had a hospice built (1560) for the poor, with two large halls vaulted on a row of columns. The classicizing architecture of his monumental wall tomb (begun 1570; Jindřichův Hradec, St Mary) was inspired by triumphal arches. Jáchym's brother Zachariáš Hradec (b 1528; d 6 Feb 1589) served in the administration of Moravia and resided mainly at Telč. A journey to Genoa in 1551 influenced his taste. Of three castles that he had reconstructed, that at Telč was designed by Drizzan and Baldassare Maggi, with Mannerist arcades on the main courtyard. Two rooms were decorated with sgraffiti, the elaborately carved ceilings of the halls with figural reliefs and paintings, and a small chapel with stuccowork. In the burial chapel Zachariáš had a marble tomb made and a small marble altar with a baldacchino. He owned paintings, works of graphic art, ten tapestries from Antwerp, a table and armchairs made from silver from his own mines, and German stained-glass windows dating from 1569. Jáchym's son Adam Hradec II (b 1546; d 1596), Lord Chancellor (1584) and chief minister (1592) of Bohemia, commissioned Maggi to complete the new palace at Jindřichův Hradec (1580–89), with a tower and with rooms richly decorated by Raimund Paul and Georg Widman (fl 1580–94). Two Renaissance loggias were added, and the garden was surrounded with arcades and featured a large domed, round pavilion (1591–4). The palace was one of the most important centrally planned buildings north of the Alps. Adam Hradec purchased works of art in Germany and Italy, including jewels from Augsburg, Venetian glass, paintings and statues. The Hradec family died out in 1604.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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