Book Series Medieval Church Studies, vol. 33

From Hus to Luther

Visual Culture in the Bohemian Reformation (1380-1620)

Kateřina Horníčková, Michal Šroněk (eds)

  • Pages: xxi + 323 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:50 b/w, 8 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2017

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54805-0
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56722-8
  • E-book
  • Available

The first study representing a little-known phenomenon in Bohemian cultural and political history – the visual culture that grew up in the environment of the Reformation churches in Bohemia from the Hussites until the defeat of the Estates by the Habsburgs at White Mountain in 1620.


« Voilà, en tout état de cause, qui confirme que le sujet de ce beau livre n’est ni mineur ni périphérique, mais qu’il met en jeu des questions fondamentales de méthode. » (Olivier Marin, dans Le Moyen Âge, 123/3-4, 2018, p. 791)

This is an erudite volume that positions itself as forward thinking and generative of new lines of questioning, rather than as a definitive and comprehensive summation. The relationship between the Reformation and visual culture as it pertains to Germany and England has long been a topic of rich discourse and it is high time that the Bohemian example be added to the mix.”(Andrea Bubenik, in Parergon, 37/1, 2020, p. 303)


This book portrays a little-known phenomenon in Bohemian cultural and political history – the visual culture that grew up in the environment of Reformation churches in Bohemia from the time of the Hussites until the defeat of the Estates by the Habsburg coalition at White Mountain in 1620. It provides the first comprehensive overview of a forgotten era of artistic production over a period of approximately two hundred years, when most of the population of Bohemia professed non-Catholic faiths.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a unique situation arose in Bohemia, with five main Christian denominations (Utraquists, Lutherans, the Unity of Brethren, Calvinists, and Catholics) gradually coming to function alongside each other, with a number of other religious groups also active. The main churches, which had a fundamental influence on political stability in the state, were the majority Utraquists and the minority Catholics. Yet the essays of this book establish that despite the particularities of the Bohemian situation, the religious trends of Bohemia were an integral part of the process of Reformation across Europe.

Featuring over fifty illustrations including manuscript illumination, panel painting, and architecture, the book also presents the surviving cultural products of the four non-Catholic Christian denominations, ranging from the more moderate to radical Reformation cultures. The book also analyses the attitudes of these denominations to religious representations, and illuminates their uses of visual media in religious and confessional communication. The book thus opens up both the Reformation culture of Bohemia and its artistic heritage to an international audience.


Foreword: Was There a Bohemian Reformation? - FRANTIŠEK ŠMAHEL

Visual Culture of the Bohemian Reformation - KATEŘINA HORNÍČKOVÁ AND MICHAL ŠRONĚK

The Hussites and the Bohemian Reformation - MARTIN NODL

The Image as a Religious Issue - MILENA BARTLOVÁ

Hussite Iconoclasm - MILENA BARTLOVÁ

Images and Visual Culture in Bohemian Utraquism - KATEŘINA HORNÍČKOVÁ

Utraquism, Images, and Representation in the Bohemian Towns - KATEŘINA HORNÍČKOVÁ

Liturgical Life during the Bohemian Reformation - DAVID R. HOLETON

Bohemian Protestant Church Architecture - PAVEL VLČEK

Lutheran Culture in Bohemia - PETR HLAVÁČEK The Unity of the Brethren and Images - MICHAL ŠRONĚK

Printed Books in the Bohemian Reformation - JIŘÍ JUST

Calvinist Views on Religious Images in Bohemia - MICHAL ŠRONĚK

Epitaphs in Bohemian Protestant Culture - ONDŘEJ JAKUBEC

Illuminated Musical Manuscripts in the Bohemian Reformation - MARTINA ŠÁROVCOVÁ

The End of the Bohemian Reformation - TOMÁŠ MALÝ