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.