The history of the National Gallery in Prague started 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 “elevate the deteriorated taste of the local public.” The corporation which received the title Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts, then established two important institutions which Prague had, up until then, lacked: the Academy of Fine Arts and the publicly accessible Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts.
The original idea that has lasted since the establishment of the National Gallery has been present in all the complicated peripeties of the Gallery’s development: to elevate the nation’s spirit through works of art. This ideal is considered the mission of the National Gallery even today.
The St Agnes Convent was founded by the Premyslid Princess Anežka (Agnes), sister of King Václav I in 1231 as the first convent of the Order of Poor Clares north of the Alps. It was the first Gothic building in Prague. It was renovated in 1963 to meet the exhibition needs of the National Gallery.
National Gallery, U Milosrdných 17, 110 00 Prague, Czech Republic, Google Maps