The Gallery of the Museum of the Bohemian Paradise was originally designated to house the dioramatic painting The Defeat of the Saxons at Hrubá Skála, 8.5 x 10 m. In the year 1895 it was painted by V. Bartoněk, K.V. Mašek and V. Jansa, following Mikoláš Aleš´s model. The spacious premises are also utilized for short-term exhibitions and chamber music concerts.
Since the year 1974, when it was made accessible, the Gallery of the Museum of the Bohemian Paradise has been playing a major regional part in this field since in the then Semily District there was never established a district gallery. Thus the concept of exhibitions seeks to achieve a balanced composition of exhibitions, having a museum character, with exhibitions that present old and contemporary plastic art both of Czech and foreign authors.
The gallery was build in 1974, for the purpose of saving the unique oil painting „The Massacre of Saxons under Hrubá Skála“ and it is the youngest part of the Museum of the Bohemian Paradise.
This unique oil painting measuring 8,5 x 10 m is one of the largest world paintings. It was made in 1895 on a request of the Club of Bohemian Tourists and the same year it was installed for the first time in Prague on the Czech and Slavic Folklore Exhibition. The painting was placed on the model of the castle Kokořín and real object were placed in the foreground, in order to create a three dimensional effect. The light smooth colours of the background and a high paste paint with pieces of fur glued into the paint on figures in the foreground were used to increase the cubic impression of the painting.
The concept of the painting is a work of famous Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš. He brought with him other distinguished academic painters, in order to work on the painting together as a team. He brought painters such as Vojtěch Baroňka, Karel Vítězslav Mašek a Václav Jansa. Vojtěch Bartoňka is the author of battle scene on the left side of the painting, the right side is a work of Karel Václav Mašek and Václav Jansa created the landcape. Mikoláš Aleš himself created the foreground part of the painting. Karel Štapfer, the scenic desinger of the National Theatre in Prague, was in charge of placing real object in the foreground to create the illusion of cubic profundity and plasticity. The canavas used for this painting is from one piece and was imported from Holland. It took six months to comlete the painting.
The theme of the work is a poem „Beneš Heřmanov“ from the Králův Dvůr handwriting. It describes a victorious battle of Bohemians led by Beneš Heřmanov over Saxon invaders led by Siegfried von Meissen. The battle took place at the beginning of 13th centruy in woods of Rocky town under Hrubá Skála in the Bohemian Paradise. The Czech a Slavic Folkore Exhibition meant great successs for this painting, but when the exhibition ended the painting because of its size had to be stored in wooden tube until Summary Exhibition of Czech painters in Prague in 1908.
The third time that the painting could been admired was at the Regional Exhibition in Turnov in 1925. Special temporary exhibition hall was build by Club of Czech tourists in order to open the painting to the public. When the exhibition ended in 1931, the painting was rolled up and stored in loft of Prague´s Academy, until the end of the Second World War when the painting was moved to depository of Aleš´s gallery in the castle Hluboká in the south of Bohemia. In 1960 the paintings was in very poor condition given to the Museum of the Bohemian Paradise, firstly the paintings was kept in loft of Mariánský church then it was moved to a gymnasium belonging to the Second Primary School in Turnov where the painting was waiting for its conservation. The conservation process started in 1973 and a team of conservators (Josef Němec, Vladislav Lachout and sculptor Jan Solovjev) worked three months to save the painting for future generations. When the conservation finished the paintig was permanently placed to the gallery of Museum of the Bohemian Paradise.