Some artists model their imagination by that which they see around them. Everything provides them with inspiration. Things were no different in the case of A. Wiehl. He admired the neoclassical concept of the Italian Renaissance, the so-called Palladian style. He was also spell-bound by the Czech renaissance of the city of Plzeň. In the spirit of the patriotic boom at the end of the 19th century, he combined features such as richly articulated gables, sgraffito which is a special technology in terms of which various pictures are created by scratching light plaster from a darker base layer. When decorating buildings, he frequently called in leading artists from the so-called Generation of the National Theatre - Aleš, Ženíšek, Myslbek, Suchard or Schnirch. These above-mentioned points of inspiration were also carried over into his architectural perception. And what came of this? Luxurious and wonderfully beautiful buildings, the beauty of which has not faded even after so many years.
His work is based on the basic needs of society, which in the 1870s – 1880s were linked with general affluence, industrial and technical achievements.
He concentrated on public buildings, mostly apartment buildings and public amenity buildings – the Old Town waterworks, the arcades at Vyšehrad Cemetery and the tombs of important personalities at Slavín.
Antonín Wiehl, together with the Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš, who participated in the visual design of figural and ornamental sgraffito, are two names responsible for the luxury residence known as the Jilská II Palace. The building was designed in 1889. The Jilská II residential complex is located on the corner of Jilská and Skořepka in the Old Town. This site combines the optimum level of tradition and modernity. The Jilská II location offers fixtures and fittings in line with the very highest standards of comfortable housing and at the same time does not deny having drawn a wealth of inspiration from history.
We can for example see more of Wiehl’s architectural creations in Prague in the Rott House, the Bedřich Smetana Museum and also in a house named after this artist (the Wiehl House). Last but not least, he advocated renovation of the New Town Hall on the Old Town Square. Apart from independent projects, he also contributed his inventiveness to renovation of some important historical monuments. His creative list also includes small projects with designs for grilles, lanterns and decorative features for buildings and streets.
Wiehl stayed true to his artistic spirit the whole of his life and despite a handicap which made the end of his life somewhat unpleasant, he remained creatively active. He devoted his efforts to museology, archaeology, collecting things and antiques. His efforts to preserve monuments constitute valuable heritage for future generations.
An acclaimed artist
Antonín Wiehl was an admired artist while he was still alive. He is now an acclaimed personality in the field of architecture, a benefactor and artist with a clean slate.