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Bohemian family of patrons. Jan Žerotín (d 25 Feb 1583), chief justice of Moravia, visited France in the service of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. A member of the Czech Brethren, he established on his estate at Kralice the sect's printing works, issuing some 70 publications, including a translation of the Bible. In the 1570s he transformed the castles at Náměšt’ nad Oslavou and Rosice in Renaissance style. Náměšt’ Castle, which was probably the work of Leonardo Garovo (d 1574), was completed as an enclosed four-wing block c. 1580, as was Rosice Castle c. 1600. His son (1) Karel Žerotín and his nephew (2) Ladislav Žerotín continued the renovation of the family's castles and the tradition of humanist scholarship and patronage.(1) Karel Žerotín (b Brandýs nad Orlice, 14–24 Sept 1564; d Přerov, 9 Oct 1636). He was one of the most widely read and travelled men of his time, having been educated in Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Germany and the Netherlands. He was a prominent jurist, and from 1608 to 1614 he headed the Moravian administration. In 1608 he led the revolt against the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. He completed the renovation of the castles at Rosice and Přerov (1610–12) and built another at Dřevohostice (1618). The arcaded courtyard of this last is similar to those at Náměšt’ and Rosice, both of which he had decorated with sculptural motifs. At Náměšt’ he added an outside staircase in the Italian style, such as is also seen at the residence of another branch of the family at Hustopeče nad Bečvou. A bibliophile like his father, he owned an ample library, employed librarians and acquired books from abroad, ordered from catalogues sent from Frankfurt am Main. As a patron and supporter of writers, scientists, theologians and historians, including John Levenclaus (1533–93) and Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670), he was the recipient of dedications of several works. At Rosice his gallery included the portraits of important Frenchmen; his own portrait (c. 1600; Wrocław, T. Mikulski Voivodship & Mun. Pub. Lib.) was the work of a local painter.(2) Ladislav Velen Žerotín (b 1587; d 1638). Cousin of (1) Karel Žerotín. He spent several years abroad at Protestant schools and in Padua and Siena, which influenced his cultural endeavours. In 1618 he was one of the leaders of the Bohemian revolt and in 1619 headed the Moravian administration. Among his five large Renaissance castles, that at Tatenice (1606) is interesting for its stuccoed vaults. The castle near Moravská T řebová (1610–20), probably designed by Giovanni Maria Filippi, is remarkable for a monumental Mannerist three-storey gateway, a variation on the motif of the triumphal arch, inspired by Sebastiano Serlio's treatises. The castle's furnishings included partly gilded furniture and tapestries, Persian and Turkish carpets and 22 large Italian tapestries with historical scenes. Žerotín owned many jewels by Isaak Pictet (fl 1618–19) and Jean Baptiste Desale (fl 1618) among others and inherited the collections of his ancestors, the lords of Boskovice, and their library of Italian incunabula. Among the books he acquired, some were dedicated to him by the authors, including the Map of Moravia by Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670). His collection of paintings included works by Pietro de Petri (c. 1550–1611), to whose son Simeon de Petri is attributed the portrait of Ladislav Velen Žerotín (Bludov, Pict. Gal.). His residence at Moravská T řebová was a centre of the sciences and arts, to which he invited German and Italian poets, theologians, alchemists, physicians, artists and musicians. After the defeat of the Bohemian revolt in 1620 he emigrated, and his estates, castles and collections were confiscated.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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