by Walter Robinson
The lure of earthly beauty and a certain macabre spirituality are the unlikely attractions of "Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347-1437," the new blockbuster at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
. The relatively enlightened Charles IV
(1316-1378), King of Bohemia and later Holy Roman Emperor, was determined to make Prague a rival to Paris and Rome, and to this end built St. Vitus Cathedral and several chapels, filling them with holy relics and jeweled artworks of considerable luxury.