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Lenka Bydžovská

(b Velké Lišice, nr Chlumec nad Cidlinou, Jan 22, 1883; d Prague, March 27, 1979).

Czech painter, writer and theorist. In 1902–4 he studied at the Prague School of Applied Art and in 1904–7 at the Academy of Fine Arts. After visiting Dresden, Berlin, Munich and Paris, he returned to Prague and joined Eight, the, which had been set up by his former fellow students; he exhibited at the group’s second show in 1908. His early work was influenced by the ideas of Bohumil Kubišta, with whom he shared a workshop. Although basically an uncomplicated, sensual painter, he attempted to keep well informed about contemporary artistic trends. In 1910–14 he became a fervent devotee of Cubism and, together with Emil Filla, adhered faithfully to the style of Picasso and Braque. He was one of the founders (1911) of the Group of Plastic Artists and contributed theoretical articles to its journal, Umělecký měsíčník. No consistent reconstruction of his paintings before World War I can be made because most of his Cubist works were later destroyed. His process of crystallization in relation to the painting of space culminated in ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Hronov, March 23, 1887; d Bergen-Belsen, April 1945).

Czech painter, printmaker and writer. He studied weaving (1901–3) in Vrchlabí and then from 1904 to 1910 decorative painting at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he was influenced by the highly decorative art of the Secession. During this period he wrote stories with his brother, the novelist Karel Čapek (1890–1938). In 1910 they went to Paris for nearly a year, where Josef Čapek studied painting at the Académie Colarossi and became a friend of Apollinaire. In 1911 he and his brother co-founded the Cubist-orientated Group of Plastic Artists. Čapek attempted to modify Cubism by introducing elements of Expressionism and Symbolism. His efforts dumbfounded some members of the group, and in 1912 he and various of his friends parted company with it. From 1915 he began to achieve a synthesis of Cubism, Neo-classicism and a personal symbolism (e.g. the Man in the Hat, 1915...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

[Cz. Osma.]

Group of Bohemian painters established in 1906 with the aim of making colour the dominant element in their art. The members, all graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, were Emil Filla, Friedrich Feigl (1884–1965), Antonín Procházka, Willy Nowak (1886–1977), Otokar Kubín, Max Horb (1882–1907), Bohumil Kubišta and Emil Artur Pittermann-Longen (1885–1936). Filla, Feigl and Procházka had undertaken further study journeys in Europe, which had opened up their artistic horizons and convinced them of the need for innovation in Czech art. At their initial meetings, held at a Prague coffee-house, the Union, they planned to publish their own magazine and put on an exhibition in the prestigious Topič salon in Prague. Eventually they succeeded in renting a shop in Králodvorská Street, Prague, where a hastily organized exhibition was opened on 18 April 1907, with a catalogue consisting of a sheet of paper headed ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).

Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...

Article

Jaroslav Sedlář

(b Vlčkovice, nr Hradec Králové, Aug 21, 1884; d Prague, Nov 27, 1918).

Bohemian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, but left in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Florence. In the same year, with Emil Filla and Antonin Procházka among others, he founded Eight, the, a group of artists who felt the need of innovation in their art, as exemplified by Cubism and German Expressionism. In 1909 and 1910 he visited Paris. During the next two years he exhibited with the Neue Sezession in Berlin and in 1913 in Düsseldorf. His work evolved rapidly from Impressionism, Expressionism and a specific kind of Cubism to Italian Futurism.

The young Kubišta was strongly affected by the work of Munch exhibited in Prague in 1905. Until 1910 he worked in an Expressionist style, which brought him closer to the German painters associated with Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke. The first notable example of this period was ...

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Vážany u Vyškova, June 5, 1882; d Brno, June 9, 1945).

Czech painter and designer. In 1902–4 he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts (Vysoká Škola Uměleckoprůmyslová) and in 1904–6 at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademii Výtvarných Uměni) in Prague. In 1906 he made a study journey through Europe with his fellow students Emil Filla and Friedrich Feigl (1884–1965) and subsequently several journeys with his wife, the painter Linka Scheithauerová (b 1884). He was one of the founders (1907) of the avant-garde group known as the Eight (1907), based in Prague (see Eight, the), and the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists. His early work was influenced by Expressionism and Fauvism and his stay in Paris in autumn 1909 stimulated his interest in Cubism, resulting in Cubo-Expressionistic works (e.g. Prometheus, 1910–11; Brno, Morav. Gal.). By late 1912 he had assimilated some aspects of Analytical Cubism, modifying them with a certain personal sensuality and skittishness (e.g. ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Žlutice, nr Nový Bydžov, Aug 24, 1885; d Prague, May 12, 1946).

Bohemian painter and printmaker. After graduating from the School of the Locksmith’s Art at Hradec Králové, he moved to Prague, where he studied under the landscape painter Ferdinand Engelmüller (1867–1924), before enrolling in 1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts. Dissatisfied with the teaching, he left without completing his studies. From 1907 to 1908 he lived in Dubrovnik, where he painted in the Fauvist style. In 1909 he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists, which he left in 1911 along with several of his colleagues to co-found the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists (see Czech Cubism). He did not accept Cubist aesthetics without reservation, preferring energetic brushstrokes and an emphasis on rhythm, which he applied universally in motifs of washerwomen, women bathers and landscapes. In 1912 he withdrew from the Group of Plastic Artists, re-joining instead the Mánes Union. He came closest to ...

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(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 ...