Václav Kounic (1848–1913)

Czech nobleman, politician and patron of the arts, an important figure in Czech patriotic circles during the latter half of the 19th century. He studied law at university in Vienna and Prague and in 1883 was elected a deputy of the State Assembly. In 1877 he married the actress Josefina Čermákova, thus becoming Antonín Dvořák’s brother-in-law. In 1874 he took possession of the castle and surrounding estate at Vysoká u Příbramě, where Dvořák and his wife were invited by the Kounic family for the first time in 1877. In 1884 Dvořák purchased a plot of land from Kounic with an old building which he had reconstructed into a summer residence. At Vysoká Dvořák was in close contact with Václav Kounic and he was a frequent guest up at the castle. During his visit to Vienna in 1889 Dvořák stayed at Kounic’s palace there, and he probably also visited the family’s castles in Slavkov near Brno and in Uherské Hradiště.