The National Gallery in Prague (Czech: Národní galerie v Praze) is a state-owned art gallery in Prague, which manages the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic. It is housed in different locations within the city, the largest being the Veletržní Palác.
Its history dates back to the 18th century (exactly February 5, 1796 ), when a group of prominent representatives of Bohemia patriotic aristocracy and Enlightened middle-class intellectuals decided to elevate what they called "debased artistic taste" of the local population. It houses the National Gallery's collection of modern art. The institution, which received the title Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts established the Academy of Fine Arts and the Picture Gallery. In 1918 the Picture Gallery became a central collection of newly formed Czechoslovakia. In 1995 a new gallery dedicated to modern art opened in the refurbished Veletržní Palác (Trade-fair Palace). It is one of the first and largest functionalism building in Prague, built in 1925-1928.
The vast collection contains a large number of Czech and Slovak paintings and sculptures, including works by Mucha, Gutfreund, Kupka, Fila, Benes and Bohumil Kubišta. Along with the Black Madonna House and the Kampa museum the Trade fair palace collection is one of the most notable collections of Czech Cubism in Prague. Notable works include Don Quixote by Otto Gutfreund, Military Funeral by Vincenc Benes, an array of paintings by František Kupka, covering almost all of the styles with which he experimented and Slav Epic a cycle of 20 large canvases by Alfons Mucha.
The international collection includes numerous works by artists such as Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin, Gauguin, Cézanne, Renoir, Schiele, Munch, Miró or Klimt; many of these are donations from the collection of art historian Vincenc Kramář.
Picasso, who has a spacious room to himself in the gallery, has two self-portraits there, and two of his nudes in addition to more abstract work. Works by Rodin, whose exhibition in Prague in the early 20th century had a profound impact on Czech sculpture for many years to come, include a series of busts and full-sized figure on a variety of subjects in the gallery.