The Church of Our Lady Victorious was built between 1611-1613. During the 17th century the baroque interior was furnished with works of the best available artists. In 2013, the Discalced Carmelites from the Monastery of the Infant Jesus asked the sculptor Otmar Oliva to create new liturgical furnishings which would respond to the needs of contemporary liturgy in a living shrine with a long tradition. The new altar, ambo, cross and baptismal font were installed in the church in 2015 to mark the fifth centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus, foundress of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites. In 2016 – 2019, Oliva made the candelabrum for the paschal candle, the presidential chair and the tabernacle for the choir.
The focus on an axis is what immediately draws our attention when we see the liturgical furnishings for the first time. The baptismal font, ambo, altar and cross appear in front of us, lined up consecutively on an imaginary axis. We stand here not only admiring extraordinary artefacts but through our faith and inner sight we discover in them the living and everlasting existence.
Robert Svatoň, theologian
This monumental temple space fully deserves to be complemented by contemporary artwork.
Petr Kuthan, sculptor and restorer
The artist who is given an opportunity to make a contribution with their work to a completed architectural space needs not only a great deal of courage but also a profound understanding. Otmar Oliva was assigned such a task in the Church of Our Lady Victorious and he completed it beyond all expectations. The symbiosis of Baroque and contemporary art, the resonance of spirit and matter in this prominent Prague temple come together to create an extraordinary symphony of shapes, which in a natural way accentuates the spiritual nature of this place.
Daniel Herman Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic (2014-17)
Consecration of the Altar – Oct 18, 2015 – photos.
O. Oliva, R. Svatoň: And the Word Became Flesh. A Symbiosis of Baroque and Contemporary Art in the Church of the Infant Jesus of Prague
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