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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

© Stanislav Libensky Estate
Czech, 1921 - 2002
Czech, born 1924
Imprint of an Angel 1
Cast glass

92 x 43½ x 17 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of the estate of Roger Ager, Liberty, Texas; Heller Gallery,
New York, NY; Dr. Frances M. Davis Ryan and Neil F. Ryan;
Neal and Judi Grossman of Illuminata Gallery; Steve Laedtke;
Richard H. Moiel and Katherine S. Poeppel; Barbara and Mark Paull; the Susan Vaughan Foundation; and various other donors

Arts of Europe

Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová began exploring the depths and possibilities of glass in the 1950s. Their work is recognized worldwide for elemental strength, purity, and emotional content as well as for demonstrating the tremendous optical and physical properties of glass.

For Imprint of an Angel I, Libenský and Brychtová have pushed glass material to its maximum potential. The effects of light highlight the “angel,” whose outline or presence is imbued in the glass.

The monumental sculpture stands almost 8 feet high and is comprised of three separate tapered forms that stack upon one another. Each section is cast, weighs approximately 300 pounds, and needed to be an exact series of angles and measurements in order for the sculpture to be stable and uniform. The surface and edges of each section of the sculpture are textured, which—along with the optical effects—provides a constant and changing source of pattern. Space is defined by the edges of each plane, creating a narrow void within the minimal form. When lit, varying thicknesses of glass throughout the sculpture, along with the central void, provide a changing landscape of transparency, translucency, and opacity.