Tuesday, September 22, 2015


  Please be advised that, due to the detachment of retina, though not major, new exhibits here will be suspended for a time being. Thank you for your kind understanding.
  It would be my great joy if you would like to view previous everyday-upload of worldwide artworks in the past five years.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Frantisek Zenisek

Oldrich and Bozena
oil on canvas
174.5 x 265 cm
National Gallery in Prague

Frantisek Zenisek (1849-1916) was a Czech painter. He was born into a family of merchants. His father reluctantly agreed to let him pursue his interests for arts, and allowed him to take lessons while he was still in school.

From 1863 to 1865, he was at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1875, he received his first major commission; painting murals at the city hall in Courtrai, Belgium. Then, in 1878, while making a study trip to Paris, he gained an important friend and supporter, a well-known patron of the arts. He later accompanied this patron on his honeymoon to Holland, and painted a portrait of the new couple. From 1885 to 1896, he was a Professor at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. Then, from 1896 to 1915, he was a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Frantisek Tkadlik

Three Angels (Drei Schutzengel)
other details unknown

Frantisek Tkadlik (1786-1840) was a Czech portrait painter and draftsman. From 1817 to 1825, he served as Court Painter to the House of Czernin and overseer for their collection of paintings in Vienna. He maintained close contact with many Czech scholars, which deepened his nationalistic feelings. He became the first Czech to be appointed Director of the Art Academy.

He was the son of an innkeeper. Two of the boarders at his parents' inn were drawing teachers and they encouraged him in his desire to be an artist. He was enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, later attending Charles University, where he studied philosophy. The National Revival in Bohemia had a decisive influence on his work. He came under the patronage of the Count von Chudenitz, which enabled him to continue his studies. After completing his work in Vienna, he received an Imperial Pension. He spent several years studying in Rome, where he was influenced by the Nazarene movement. He returned to Vienna in 1832, then moved on to Prague in 1836.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Jakub Schikaneder

The Sad Way
oil on canvas
141 × 217 cm
National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic

Jakub Schikaneder (1855-1924) was a Bohemian painter. He is known for his soft paintings of the outdoors, often lonely in mood. His paintings often feature poor and outcast figures. Other motifs favoured by him were autumn and winter, corners and alleyways, often in the early evening light, or cloaked in mist. He is counted amongst those who admired the Munich School of the end of the 19th century. The National Gallery in Prague held an exhibition of his paintings from May 1998 until January 1999.

He came from the family of a German customs office clerk. Despite the family's poor background, he was able to pursue his studies, thanks in part to his family's love of art. After having completed his studies in Prague and Munich (1871-1879), he was involved in the furnishing of the royal box in the National Theatre in Prague, and after this work, he travelled through Europe, visiting Germany, England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and France. From 1891 until 1923 he taught in Prague's Art College.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Julius Marak

Scene from Tyrol (Motiv aus Tirol)
c. 1865
56.5 x 36 cm
paper fixed on cardboard

Julius Marak (1832-1899) was a Czech landscape painter and graphic designer. Among his major commissions were decorations for the new National Theater in Prague and paintings for the staircase of the National Museum.

His father was an auditor and land registrar. His first painting lessons came while he was in the Gymnasium. His several family members were singers and musicians, therefore he had difficulty deciding between an artistic or a musical career. But, from 1852 to 1853, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, then attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. From 1855 to 1858, he wandered throughout Bohemia, seeking inspiration, then settled in Vienna. While there, he learned etching, gave drawing lessons, and provided illustrations for several local magazines. Influences from the Barbizon school began to appear in his work, although he had never been to France. He later made a tour of the Balkans and the Tyrol. He returned to Prague in 1887 and for a professorial post for landscape painting at the Academy.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hanus Schwaiger

Water Gnome
tempera on wood
57 x 28 cm
National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic

Hanus Schwaiger (1854-1912) was a Czech painter, designer, graphic artist and professor, best known for his fairy-tale illustrations. His home in Prague, the "Villa Tara", was declared a national landmark in 1921 and currently serves as a hotel.

He was born to a Jewish ironmonger, but was baptized as a Catholic. In 1874, he audited classes at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Some of his first works were purchased, but later attempts to be financially independent failed and he returned, penniless, to his hometown in 1881. Eventually, he found work as an illustrator and was able to visit the Netherlands in 1888, where he became interested in Dutch architecture and softened his painting style. The following year, he was invited him to visit Moravian Slovakia. But in 1891, he had to leave, apparently because he was being pursued by creditors, and moved to a town of Zlin Region where he lived in a forester's house, courtesy of a Baron.

In 1896, he was able to travel to Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, where he received a commission to copy the frescoes at the Monastery of the Madonna of Lourdes in Verona. In 1899, he accepted a teaching position at a newly opened university of technology, but was not pleased, as the work involved simple technical drawing, rather than art. To make matters worse, his creditors tracked him down again and he was able to avert legal action only by receiving financial assistance from a poet.
Shortly after, he was awarded a commission by the Thonet brothers. He painted six watercolors, depicting life in their factory, which were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in 1900. He also created some popular tapestry designs for the Moravska gobelinova manufaktura. Two years later, he returned to Prague and was named a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1906, he developed a tumor on his tongue. He underwent a successful surgery in the Netherlands but, after a few years, the tumor returned. After several more surgeries, it was decided to remove his tongue entirely, and he died of complications not long after.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Alfred Seifert

by 1901
oil on panel
50.2 x 39.4 cm
location unknown

Alfred Seifert (1850-1901) was a Czech-German painter, famous for his female portraits. He was born in Praskolesy (Czech Republic). He focused on portraits of women, especially on sentimentally mooded heads of girls which became known as "Seifert type". Critics appreciated a well-thought composition of paintings, attention to detail, as well as harmonic colors and a pleasant atmosphere.

As a child, he fell seriously ill, could not walk for four years and spent two years in an orthopedic institution. Instead of playing, he started to draw pictures and his artistic talent soon started to emerge. After two years of studies at a high school in a town of Prague, he got an admission to Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in 1869. He opened his own workshop there in 1876. He spent most of his life in Germany. Some Czechs criticized his lack of patriotism by pointing out on his preference for foreign topics over domestic ones.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jindrich Prucha

The Village Green in Ronov nad Doubravou
oil on canvas
86 × 100 cm
National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic

Jindrich Prucha (1886-1914) was a Czech landscape and portrait painter in the Fauvist and Expressionist styles.
He was also an amateur violinist, singer, occasional poet and sportsman. He was killed in a battle in Galicia in 1914, but he was buried in a mass grave and his family was not notified for several months. Despite having such a short life, he managed to produce at least 200 oil paintings and over 600 pastels. In 1944, the Nobel Prize winning Czech poet, Jaroslav Seifert wrote a long poem called Pruchovo jaro (Prucha's Spring).

He was the last child born to a family of modest means, when his parents were already in their forties. His father was a member of the gendarmerie and the family moved frequently. After graduating Gymnasium, to please his parents, he decided on a career in philology and enrolled at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. However, his interest in art persisted. Although he told his family that he would complete his philology degree, he neglected to do so and devoted himself to art.

He steadfastly refused to exhibit, but still became a full member of the Manes Union in 1911. Deciding that it was time for some formal training, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. He left the Academy in 1912, and applied for admission to the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, but the requirements were too strict and he ended by attending the Technical University and taking drawing classes, which were designed to train high-school art teachers. In late 1913, he began to exhibit locally, enjoying some success at a personal showing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jan Preisler

Koupani (bathers)
circa 1900
oil on canvas
other details unknown

Jan Preisler (1872-1918) was a Czech painter and art professor. He was a pioneer in modern Bohemian art, and his work developed from pure Art Nouveau and Symbolism towards Expressionism, in three phases.

His family worked in the local iron foundry and he attended the nearby primary schools. From childhood he was a loner, he enjoyed observing nature and the elements. He preferred walks in the woods to playing with friends. His drawings attracted the attention of his headmaster and he was sent for studies in Prague, with financial support. In 1887, at the age of fifteen, he began his studies at the School of Applied Arts.

He travelled to Italy in 1902, helped design the posters for the Edvard Munch exhibition of 1905 in Prague and visited Paris in 1906, where he was influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin. In 1903, he became a teacher of nude drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts and served as a Professor there from 1913 until his death. He died of pneumonia in 1918.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Alfons Mucha

oil on panel
Private collection

Alfons Maria Mucha (1860 - 1939), known in English as Alphonse Mucha, was born in the town of Moravia, now in the Czech Republic, then part of the Austro-Hungary Empirer.
His father was a court usher, and the family had but modest means. The future painter was raised in an atmosphere of strict Roman Catholicism, and this would later be reflected in the symbolism he employed in his work. He joined the choir at St. Peter's Cathedral and pursued singing seriously for a while, but was forced to abandon it after his voice started cracking.

He was a prolific and prominent painter and decorative artist of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, known best for his distinct style what was termed Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau. He applied his considerable talents to a wide variety of pursuits ranging from painting and sculpture to poster, magazine, and calendar illustration, and product and architectural design, as well as designs for jewelery, wallpaper, theater sets, etc. His style of painting influenced an entire generation of painters, graphic artists, draughtsmen and designers and in the minds of many.

His works frequently featured beautiful healthy young women in flowing vaguely Neoclassical looking robes, surrounded by lush flowers which formed halos behind the women's heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors. The Art Nouveau style, however, was one that he attempted to disassociate himself from throughout his life; he always insisted that rather than maintaining any fashionable stylistic form, his paintings were entirely a product of himself and Czech art. He declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more.

Mucha worked on his most famous work, The Slav Epic, which consisted of 20 paintings that featured major points in Czech history and of other Slavic countries, but the rising tide of fascism during the late 1930s resulted in Mucha's works, as well as his Slavic nationalism, being denounced in the press as 'reactionary'.

In 1938, Czechoslovakia was taken over by Nazi Germany and, in 1939, since the suppression of nationalism was high on the agenda of the conquerors, Mucha, with his history of patriotism and Pan-Slavism, was among the first persons to be arrested and incarcerated by the Gestapo at the onset of World War II. During his interrogation, the aging artist became ill with pneumonia. Though released eventually, he died in Prague on 14 July 1939, of a lung infection, and was interred there in the Vy?ehrad cemetery. His son, author, devoted much of his life to writing about him and bringing attention to his art. Interest in Mucha's distinctive style experienced a strong revival in the 1960's with a general interest in Art Nouveau.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Quido Manes

Young Girl
38 x 31 cm
oil on canvas
other details unknown

Quido Manes (1828-1880) was a Czech painter who specialized in genre scenes. He came from a family of artists. He was best known for his scenes of everyday bourgeois life in Prague and folk scenes from Chodenland in southwest Bohemia. His portraits of children were especially popular. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague from 1838 to 1851.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sobeslav Pinkas

The Shepherdess of Marotte
before 1901
other details unknown

Sobeslav Pinkas (1827-1901) was a Czech genre painter and political caricaturist. His father was a politician and, later, a leading figure in the Revolutions of 1848.

He is believed to have been among the group of students that held Count Leopold von Thun hostage during the June Uprising. In 1849, after the revolution was suppressed, he found it necessary to change careers and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. Then he transferred to the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. In 1854, he received a scholarship to study in France, while there, he exhibited at the Salon, got married, and came under the influence of Jean-Francois Millet. He returned to Bohemia after his father's death in 1865 to look after his family. Later, he accepted a position as a drawing teacher, which he held for twenty-five years. He also taught courses for women at the Academy's graduate school and participated in planning the National Theater.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jan Krystof Liska

Assumption of Mary
oil on canvas
160 × 103 cm   
National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic

Jan Krystof Liska(c. 1650-1712) was a Czech Baroque painter. His works mainly included altarpieces and frescoes.
In Prague he worked on the altarpiece painting for the St. Nicholas Church. Among his best known works include the altarpiece Stigmata of St. Francis (1701) located in the Red Star Crusaders' motherhouse church in the Old Town. Outside of Prague received orders from various Cistercian monasteries in Bohemia.

Born into a noble family of Moravian knights. After his father died, his mother re-married and he became stepson to a German painter. Since 1689 he worked mainly, besides his native Silesia, especially in Prague although there he had lifelong disputes with local artist's guild, while he lived in the shadow of his famous stepfather painter. After his famous stepfather died in 1706, he managed his stepfather's studio, and, for the rest of his life he obtained contracts from the monastery together with some other Silesian Cistercian monasteries.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ludek Marold

The Cabdriver
oil on canvas
39 x 56 cm
location unknown

Ludek Marold (1865-1898) was a Czech painter and illustrator. His panorama depicting the Battle of Lipany is the largest painting in the Czech Republic. His father, an Army Lieutenant, was killed during the Austro-Prussian War and his mother died six years later.

He began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in his native Prague in 1881, at the age of sixteen, but not long afterwards was expelled from the school for indiscipline. He transferred to the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Munich, where he remained for five years. On his return to Prague in 1887 he continued his studies at the Academy. In 1889 he received a grant to study in Paris, and he was to remain there until 1897. It was in Paris that he earned a particular reputation.

He also enjoyed a successful career as a book illustrator - providing images for over fifty books by such authors as Alphonse Daudet, Alexandre Dumas fils, Goethe and the Goncourt brothers. He won a gold medal at the Universal Exposition in Munich in 1892 for his work as an illustrator. He also designed a large number of advertising posters. His death was greatly mourned in Prague, Paris and elsewhere. Indeed, Gustav Klimt is said to have described him as one of the finest artists of the day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Frantisek Kavan

Harvest  (Ernte)
oil on cardboard
50 × 66 cm
location unknown

Frantisek Kavan (1866-1941) was a Czech painter and poet. He graduated from high school in Hradec Kralove in 1888.
He studied painting at the academy in Prague during 1889 to 1896. He was a member of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He spent the end of his life in the area of his birthplace and he was a very humble and likeable person who had given away most of his paintings. As a painter, he specialised in realistic landscapes and created over 4,000 paintings. He concentrated on mountain areas. He was certainly the greatest poet among painters and the greatest painter among poets. But, unlike his paintings, his poems were soon forgotten. He also translated literary works from Russian.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Antonin Lhota

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Dying
other details unknown

Antonin Lhota (1812-1905) was a Czech painter and art teacher. He studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. After further studies in Munich and Vienna, he returned to the Academy in 1844 and was employed for ten years serving as an assistant teacher. This was followed by a study trip to Italy and Paris which included participation in the Exposition Universelle in 1855. In 1867, he became a Professor at the Academy in Prague and was promoted to Director. He specialized in history painting, secular and religious, primarily on Czech subjects.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Adolf Liebscher

Portrait of the old Emperor Franz Joseph in the robes of the Order of the Golden Fleece
other details unknown

Adolf Liebscher (1857-1919) was a Czech history painter. After completing his education in the local schools, he went to Vienna to attend a three-year course for drawing. He then spent six months preparing to enter a competition for the creation of decorations in the foyer at the National Theater. He received the Second Prize. Afterwards, he spent several months in Italy. Upon his return, he received a series of public commissions, including work at the Rudolfinum, the municipal union hall in Pisek and the government office buildings. In 1879, he became a teacher at the Technical University. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1895, then to Professor in 1911.

In 1903, he painted a portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph. That same year, he exhibited a cycle of tempera paintings entitled "Czech Elegy", featuring an iconic portrait crowned with thorns, meant to symbolize the suffering of the Czech nation from the oppression of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In addition to his historical scenes, he produced folk-costume studies, altarpieces and illustrations.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Felix Ivo Leicher

Saint Joseph Calasantius before the Virgin
oil on canvas
182 x 115 cm
Domokos Kuny Museum, Tata, Hungary

Felix Ivo Leicher (1727-1812) was a Czech-born Viennese painter of altarpieces and secular works, which was spread to a wide area throughout the Habsburg Empire and beyond. He was apprenticed to a weaver, and later studied cutlery at school but the painting excited him and it became his entire life. From 1751 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and, in 1754, he won second prize in the academic competition, which made him a supported member of the Academy.

In many places, he painted altarpieces in churches with frescoes. There is now no doubt that many of his works are still hidden in anonymity in various churches and collections. In the latter part of the 18th century he devoted himself also to creating smaller cabinet paintings with secular themes.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Jan Kupecky

Portrait of a young Polish woman
other details unknown

Jan Kupecky or Jan Kupecky (1667-1740), born in Slovakia, was a Czech portrait painter during the baroque. He was active in Hungary, Slovakia, Vienna and Nurnberg. As the most significant portrait painter of contemporary Germany, he was commissioned by a large number of German princes, church dignitaries rich merchants and scholars, and his works were popularized by engravings even during his lifetime. Bernhard Vogel produced a large number of engravings after his paintings. Through his pupils and followers his influence and artistic example remained alive and widespread for a long time. Although he spent most of his life outside his homeland, he always considered himself a Czech painter.

He was the son of Protestant (Czech Brethren) parents from Bohemia who sought refuge in Slovakia (constituting the core of Royal Hungary at that time) from religious persecution by the Catholics. At the age of twenty, he went on a long Italian study trip. In Rome, a son of the Polish king John III Sobieski, helped him to become famous. He returned to Vienna in 1709, after twenty-two years in Venice and Rome. We know very little of his Italian activity as well as his early works and his setting in Vienna.

He, the Protestant Kupecky, who faithfully clung to his ancestor's religion, remained withdrawn and isolated in Vienna's Catholic milieu, which was under the influence of the court and the aristocracy. However this concept is partly contradicted by the fact that the master had significant courtly commissions while working in Vienna. He painted portraits of various members of the dynasty, Prince Eugene of Savoy, several aristocrats, and, in Karlovy Vary, even of the Russian Czar Peter I. The rich oeuvre of this period comprises a series of gorgeous portraits of his family, friends and the painter himself, as well as several persons, whose identity in unknown. In 1733, fearing religious persecution, he fled from Vienna to Nurnberg with his family and worked there until his death in 1740.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Antonin Chittussi

Paris as Viewed from Montmartre
oil on canvas
124 × 150 cm    
National Gallery in Prague

Antonin Chittussi (1847-1891) was a Czech Impressionist landscape and cityscape painter. His father came from a family of merchants who lived in Ferrara and moved to Bohemia during the Napoleonic Wars.

At first, he was expected to follow in the family business, but displayed an aptitude for art. At the age of eighteen, he went to Prague, with the intent to study engineering but, instead, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. However, he was dissatisfied with the courses being offered and went to Munich instead, but he became tired of their Academic approach. He was called to Vienna for military service, but was able to obtain a deferral. Later, he returned to the Academy in Prague to study history painting.

Following the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War in 1878, the Austro-Hungarian Army moved in to occupy Bosnia-Herzegovina and, as an army reservist, he was called up and sent to the front. The death and destruction he witnessed had a profound effect on him, which he attempted to work through emotionally. He was able to make a series of small drawings and watercolors, which he exhibited on his return and, with the help of friends, succeeded in financing a trip to Paris. In 1880, he rented a small studio and began to work on absorbing the new styles. He soon gained the support of the writer Elemir Bourges.

In 1887, he developed health problems, which were believed to be related to the time he spent outdoors, painting during inclement weather. He gradually grew weaker and was diagnosed with tuberculosis. In an effort to stop the disease's progress, he went to the Tatra Mountains, but it was too late. In 1891, he died in Prague on the way home from treatment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hugo Anton Fisher

Pali to Kailua View
oil on board
76.8 x 123.2 cm
other details unknown

Hugo Anton Fisher (1854-1916) was known for his skill in watercolor painting of landscapes. He gained critical praise for his work and became popular on both the East and West coasts. He exhibited in New York and California and was a member of the San Francisco Art Association. He lost many of his early paintings when his studio was destroyed in the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906.

He was the son and grandson of artists. Born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, he remained in his native land to study art. He exhibited at the Paris Salon and at salons in Dresden and London. In 1874, he moved to New York at the age of 20, establishing a studio and gained a national reputation as one of the Hudson River School artists.

At age 32, in 1886, he moved to Alameda, California. He kept his studio in San Francisco, commuting back and forth to his Alameda home by ferry, usually using his commute time to skech the marshes and pastures as they floated by. He kept a studio in Honolullu for a short time while enjoying an extended visit to his son, cartoonist and artist Hugo Melville Fisher, who was working for a Honolulu paper, The Time.

Like many artists thriving in San Francisco in 1806, he lost a large portion of his work due to the quake. Not only did he lose studio work, but many of the paintings he had sold and which were hanging throughout the city. He died in Alameda, California in 1916.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Vojtech Hynais

Divka a azalkou
other details unknown

Vojtech Hynais (1854-1925) was a Czech painter, designer and graphics artist. He designed the curtain of the Prague National Theatre, decorated a number of buildings in Prague and Vienna, and was a founding member of the Vienna Secession. He was made an Officer of the Legion d'honneur in 1924. He was interested in integrating the human and the natural, and particularly female nudes. He was described as "a delicate poet depicting the beauty of the female body." He also bound together religious and aesthetic considerations. He did, however, maintain some distance between his decorative-poetic work and his political-nationalist work.

His father was a Czech tailor who had moved to Vienna, and did not want his children to receive a German education, so he was taught at home. He began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna in 1870, and he was considered to be one of the  most promising students. He lived in Paris from 1878 to 1893, where he came to know Alfons Mucha.

During the 1870s, art was being produced to decorate the under-construction Prague National Theatre. He was not considered to be suitably representative of the national spirit by Czech art critics because he lived in, and had absorbed too much influence from, Vienna. Still, he created nationalist images for the Royal Lounge, including allegorical, historico-mythic scenes and landscapes of Bohemia. His work for the National Theatre is what he is mostly remembered for. He was part of a broader axis of connection between Paris and Prague at the turn of the century.

He worked for the Sevres porcelain firm between 1889 and 1892 as a graphics artist, and became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague in 1894. While living in Prague, he was a founding member of the Vienna Secession. In 1923, he was made an Officer of the Legion d'honneur, and in 1924 was granted an honourary professorship at the Prague Academy.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jan Autengruber

On the porch
before 1940
oil on canvas
100 x 83 cm
other details unknown

Jan Autengruber (1887-1920) was a Czech painter. He studied at the Academy of Arts in Prague and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.  Twice he won the annual prize of the Academy. This came to the attention of the German public. In the years 1907-1913 he worked in Munich, in 1910 he made a bike trip to Paris. In 1913 he received a scholarship Klaarovo and went to Italy until 1915.

During the war he tried to avoid enlisting the front, so he began at the Academy in Munich to study restoration. But eventually military service began and he went to the front. After the war he settled in Prague and enrolled to study art history and French at the Faculty of Philosophy.  In 1919 he married a painter and had a daughter in 1920. Soon after that he fell ill with the Spanish flu, severe pneumonia, and died on July 15, 1920.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stanislav Feikl

View of the Prague Castle (Blick auf den Hradschin)
by 1933
oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm
location unknown

Stanislav Feikl (1883-1933) was a Czech painter. He studied at the School of Applied Arts and at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. For inspiration, he toured Russia, Turkey, Dalmatia and northern Italy. He is known for his pictures of old Prague, rural areas and portraits of women, including naked. He painted impressionist paintings.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bretislav Bartos

Laundry bleaching
oil on canvas
50 x 41 cm
other details unknown

Bretislav Bartos (1893-1926) was a Czech painter, born in Frenstat pod Radhostem, died at Dolni Mokropsy near Prague.
His paintings displayed density and surface expression, often using sober tones, bordering earthiness. Some of his work was similar to Italian Renaissance paintings. His paintings often had symbolic overtones and he tried to express in his work social situation which sometimes occur and revolutionary themes.

He graduated from the Prague Academy of Graphic Art. He fought in the World War I as a legionnaire in Italy, and during his time of service in the Italian Legion, in his free time, he painted a collection of scenes from the Front. In 1914 he co-founded the art association Koliba (Moravian art competition of the Prague meetings at which he also exhibited). He died in 1926 aged only 33 from tuberculosis.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Zdenka Braunerova

In a quiet garden of the lesser quarter
watercolor on paper
43.5 × 32 cm
location unknown

Zdenka Braunerova (1858-1934) was a Czech landscape painter, illustrator and graphic artist.
In addition to her painting, she was also a printmaker, book designer and glass engraver.
For many years, she was involved in efforts to help prevent the destruction of the Medieval section of Prague and the old Jewish ghetto. As part of this effort, she created a series of prints depicting the area. Many younger artists received financial support from her.

She was born into a wealthy family. Her father was a member of the Imperial Council. She developed her interest in art from her mother who was an amateur painter. Prominent writers and artists were regular guests at her home.

A major inspiration for her art was Paris, where she spent part of each year from 1881 to 1893, and the painters of the Barbizon school. While there, she also attended the Academie Colarossi and exhibited frequently; in Paris at the Salon and in Prague at the Rudolfinum.  In 1896, she became the first female member of the Manes Union of Fine Arts.

However, she never abandoned her connections to her homeland, often taking part in performances where she would dance in Czech costumes and sing folk songs. She had, in fact considered becoming a singer before turning to art.

Later, she opened a studio in Roztoky and, in 1902, she extended an invitation to Auguste Rodin to visit Bohemia and Moravia. In 1909, she developed a close friendship with Paul Claudel, who was serving as the French consul in Prague. Roztoky would be her home for the rest of her life, and she would draw inspiration from the rural people and landscapes, while keeping a detailed diary and series of sketchbooks. She continued to exhibit until 1932 and died while staying at her family's home in Prague.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Petr Brandl

Simeon with Infant Jesus
oil on canvas
National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic
other details unknown

Petr Brandl (1668-1739) was a leading Baroque painter in Bohemia. He employed strong chiaroscuro and created emotional and energetic works that are characterized by a powerful, passionate movement of colors and dramatic tension as well as a distinct tenderness. His mature works were created during the Baroque glory years, from 1715 to 1728. His exceptional works had a massive influence on Czech art.

He was the sixth child in a Czech-German family. His father worked as a tailor and was of German ancestry. His mother was Czech from a peasant family in a south Bohemian town. As a child he would often gaze at the paintings in Nostic Palace of Prague’s Lesser Quarter. After dropping out of a Jesuit grammar school, he worked as an apprentice to a court painter who introduced him to Italian, Dutch and Flemish masterpieces. Opting for a bohemian lifestyle, he did not finish the apprenticeship.

His personal life was fraught with problems, and he lived irresponsibly, frequenting pubs of ill repute. Sometimes he called noble residences or monasteries home, but he also spent time in prison and was poverty-stricken. After abandoning his wife and their three children, he refused to pay her alimony even when he was paid well for his paintings. His wife even sued him several times. Always wasting money, he seemed to be perpetually in debt. He was not one to keep his promises, and sometimes it would take him years to complete a commission. Though he had been accepted in the Old Town painters’ guild in 1694, he did not have enough money to pay the dues.

When he was 36 years old, the artistic world held high expectations of him. He executed an altarpiece for the Church of the Birth of the Virgin Mary in Doksany during 1703. From 1710 to 1723, he did not produce many paintings. He devoted most of his time to his investments in a mining business. Instead of making a fortune, he wound up accruing more debts. Then he returned to painting full-time. When he was 60, things took a turn for the worst. Not only did he battle illnesses , but his problems with debts also came to the fore. He was imprisoned and upon his release acquired even more debts. In 1733 all his paintings and clothing were confiscated, and his creditors received the money obtained from selling them. The poverty-stricken painter often visited the pub, where he was found dead September 24, 1735. His funeral was as dramatic as his paintings. The Cistercians, the Jesuits, the town council, the Mining Authority and about 300 miners with lamps shining paid tribute to the extraordinarily talented, vagabond painter who was laid to rest in the Church of the Virgin Mary.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arthur Lismer

Olympic with Returned Soldiers
(He captured the return of the troopship SS Olympic to Halifax harbour following the First World War)
oil on canvas
123 x 163.3 cm
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Arthur Lismer (1885-1969), born in Sheffield England, was a painter, educator. he was one of the founders of the Group of Seven and a crucial figure in the development of arts education in Canada.

At age 13 he apprenticed at a photo-engraving company. He was awarded a scholarship and studied at the Sheffield School of Arts from 1898 until 1905. Then in 1905 he moved to Antwerp Belgium where he studied art at the Academie Royale. He immigrated to Canada in 1911, and settled in Toronto where he began to work at a commercial design company. While there he met MacDonald, Carmichael and Thomson, and they eventually became members of the Group of Seven. In 1920 the Group of Seven was officially formed. He counted up the people in the group and gave them a name.

His artistic style was inspired by the Barbizon and Post Impressionist movements in Belgium, and this showed through in his art. Not only was he a painter, but an author of several articles about the Canadian art scene. In 1967 he was made a Companion to the Order of Canada for his efforts, which is the highest honour bestowed upon a civilian.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cornelius Krieghoff

Winter Landscape, Laval
oil on canvas
painting by Cornelius Krieghoff, 1862,
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872) portrayed in his paintings the reality of the Quebec of his time; the rustic country life and the primitive and rugged living conditions, which touched him in particular. In this nineteenth-century milieu, there was in Quebec as well as in English Canada and the United States an insatiable curiosity about rustic life, folklore and North American Indians. His paintings contain an element of humour and at times are little more than caricatures.

He was a Dutch-born Canadian painter. Born in Amsterdam, his boyhood was spent in Dusseldorf and Schweinfurt. At an early age he and a friend made the tour of Europe, supporting themselves by painting and making music. In 1837 he sailed for New York and enlisted for service in the Army against the Seminole Indians in Florida. He made sketches and canvases for the War Department during that campaign, and this first contact with Indians made a lasting impression on the artist.

Demobilized in 1840, he joined his family in Montreal. From 1841 to 1846 they lived in Rochester, New York, although he studied in Paris for a short time during this period and he also spent some time in Toronto promoting his work. He settled in Montreal in 1846. He quickly established himself as an artist in Montreal, thriving until the early 1850s when the poor economy affected the art market.  It is said that to survive he had to paint sign-boards and furniture as well as giving poorly paid painting lessons. He also tried to sell his paintings door to door. Fate was with him when a Quebec City businessman saw his paintings and was drawn to their picturesque subjects.  The businessman encouraged him to move to Quebec City, introducing him to the artistic community and the social life of the city. He attained his greatest artistic and financial success during his years in Quebec City. He left Quebec City in 1863 or 1864 for Europe, returning in 1867. He left Canada for the last time in late 1871, moving to Chicago where their daughter lived. He died in Chicago.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Homer Watson

Near the Close of a Stormy Day
oil on canvas
96.5 × 142.6 cm   
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada

Homer Ransford Watson (Homer Watson 1855-1936) was a Canadian landscape painter and etcher, born in Doon, Ontario. He was "the man who first saw Canada as Canada, rather than as dreamy blurred pastiches of European painting," according to J. Russell Harper, a former curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada. He was a member and president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, as well as a founding member and first president of the Canadian Art Club.

He became interested in art in his childhood after receiving a box of paints from his aunt and went on to develop as an artist without the benefit of formal training. In 1874-75 he worked at Notman Photographic Studios in Toronto. In 1876, he visited New York and was exposed to paintings by artists of the Hudson River School. He first exhibited professionally in 1878, in an exhibition sponsored by the Ontario Society of Artists. In 1880 his painting The Pioneer Mill was included in the first exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy and was purchased by the Marquis of Lorne for the collection of Queen Victoria.

In 1882, while touring Canada, Oscar Wilde dubbed him the "Canadian Constable," comparing him to the great English landscape artist because of similar subject matter and style. Wilde would occasionally visit him in his home and they sent letters to each other. He was elected an Associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1882. In 1887, he first travelled abroad, living in England and Scotland and also briefly visiting France, where he was exposed to Barbizon painting. There he further established his reputation. His works became increasingly popular among collectors and received prizes at expositions across North America.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Frederick Varley

German Prisoners on the Western Front
oil on canvas
127.4 x 183.7 cm
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
As an official Canadian war artist, he painted many scenes on the Western Front. Here, German prisoners walk along a rocky road past rows of dead trees, debris, and bodies.

Frederick Horsman Varley (1881-1969), born in Sheffield, England, was a member of the Canadian Group of Seven artists. Of all the members of The Group of Seven, he was the most reckless in his life and personality. His moves to various parts of the country seemed predicated on the hope that life would be more fulfilling in a new environment. Not solely interested in landscape, he was fascinated with the human form, whether as a portrait, a facial study, or a figure in the landscape, and he has a lasting reputation as both a landscapist and a portrait artist.

He studied at the Sheffield School of Art and at the Antwerp Academy, in Antwerp, Belgium. In Antwerp, he had a reputation of being a heavy drinker and leading a rather bohemian life. From Antwerp, he returned to London, where he almost starved trying to support himself as an illustrator. He immigrated to Canada in 1912 on the advice of another Sheffield native (and future Group of Seven member), and found work at the Grip Ltd. design firm in Toronto, Ontario.

Beginning in January 1918, he served in the First World War. He came to the attention of Lord Beaverbrook, who arranged for him to be commissioned as an "official war artist." He accompanied Canadian troops in the Hundred Days offensive from Amiens, France to Mons, Belgium. His paintings of combat are based on his experiences at the front. In 1920, he was a founding member of the Group of Seven.

He moved to Vancouver, BC after a few years in Ontario and became the head of Department of Drawing and Painting at the School of Decorative and Applied Arts in Vancouver from 1926 to 1933. He was deeply influenced by the beauty of British Columbia, and it had a great effect on his art. The scenery that he found in British Columbia took him on an emotional journey which changed the way he painted and expanded his palette. This helped to make him an incredible teacher, and influenced many local artists.

With the Depression came about a reduction in salary at the school and he left in protest. Later on he decided to leave to B.C. and moved to Montreal where he suffered from alcoholism for many years. Finally he got over his depression and returned to Ontario and began focusing on his painting again. He enjoyed visiting unique places and remote locations, and as such traveled to places in the Arctic and Russia to paint landscapes.

He was known for painting landscapes. He painted people in green, pink, or purple. His contribution in the war influenced work in the Group of Seven. He chose to paint Canadian wilderness that had been damaged by fire or harsh climates. In 1954, along with a handful of artists, he visited the Soviet Union on the first cultural exchange of the Cold War.