(b Vadin, near Havlíčkův Brod, Nov 5, 1890; d Prague, Oct 12, 1977).
Czech painter and illustrator . He studied painting in Prague, first in private schools, then at the School of Applied Art (1907–9). In autumn 1907 he made his first, brief visit to Paris. Shortly after his return he succeeded for the first time in expressing his own inner world, infused with a new melancholy, in a small pastel Valley of Sadness (1907; painted version, 1908; both Prague, N.G.), which he looked upon as his talisman throughout his life. His early work ranged from flat and linear painting in the Gauguin tradition, via remarkable collages made from coloured foil, to rhapsodic Expressionism, as in Antichrist (1909; Prague, N.G.). Several self-portraits of 1908–9 bear witness to his quest for himself and to his penchant for self-stylization.
Zrzavý’s emphasis on the symbolic and psychic roots of his artistic work brought him into the Sursum group, which in 1910–12 attracted the second Symbolist generation in Bohemia, including ...