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Mikoláš Aleš (1852–1913)

photo:  (praha-smichov.cz)

A Czech painter, draftsman, graphic artist and illustrator, as well as a stage and costume designer.

A classic of 19th century fine art.  He belonged to the “Generation of the National Theatre Artists” and was one of the most significant personalities. His work mostly draws from the national and Slavonic history and from the life of the people of that time.  He created about 8,000 various paintings, drawings, cartoons, illustrations and about 65 oil paintings.  His early works keep to Romanticism, which was the prevailing direction in the Czech art at that time and supported the patriotic trends dominating in Bohemia of that time.  In the last years of his life, he, as a painter, tended towards secession creation.

His most significant works mainly include the cycle of paintings Vlast (The Fatherland) for the National Theatre of Prague (14 lunettes, 4 wall and 3 ceiling fields in foyer), which he created along with painter František Ženíšek.  He also painted the cycles of paintings Smysly (The Senses), Živly (The Elements), Praha (Prague), Život starých Slovanů (The Life of Old Slavonians), oil painting Setkání Jiřího z Poděbrad s Matyášem Korvínem (Gathering of George of Poděbrady and Matthias Corvinus), aquarelle Svatý Václav (Saint Wenceslas).  He is the author of fresco paintings and sgraffitos on frontage and facades of many houses in Prague.  He illustrated the books written by František Čelakovský (Ohlasy písní ruských), Alois Jirásek (Staré pověsti české) and Jakub Arbes, a collection of national songs – Špalíček pohádek, pověstí a přísloví.  He illustrated calendars, textbooks and the magazines Květy, Zlatá Praha and Šotek.  He died in Prague in 1913.  He is buried at Vyšehrad.

You will find more information here.

Author: Ivana Jeneralová
Added: 18.03.2010

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