František Kupka (1871–1957) was a Czech painter, graphic artist and illustrator. In the years 1881–91, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the studio of František Sequens. In the years 1891–2 then at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with August Eisenmenger.
In 1894, he married Maria Bruhn from Denmark (the fair-haired woman from the well-known painting Ballad (Joys of Life)), who, however, died two years later. It was then that he settled in Montmartre in Paris and supported himself mainly by illustrations for magazines and books. The illustration exhibited here [in the permanent exhibition From the Collections] from the collection of the Jihlava gallery probably also dates from this period, which reveals Kupka's masterful sense for capturing situational reality and the psychology of characters.
He later met Eugenie Straubová, his second wife, and settled in Puteaux in 1906. From 1914 he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion, after his injury he organized the Czech colony in Paris. In 1920, he was appointed a professor at the Prague Academy based in Paris, where he was in charge of Czechoslovak scholarship holders. In 1921, his first solo exhibition took place in Paris, from 1930 he participated in the creation of the Abstraction-Création art group, of which he subsequently became the honorary chairman. He lived in seclusion in Beaugency during World War II.
František Kupka was a figure of unusual breadth and versatility – a genius painter, intellectual, philosopher and visionary. He was one of the founders of modern abstract painting. With his work, he made a significant mark in the history of world art. His relationship to music contributed to the emergence of a new artistic direction - Orphism, i.e. a direction bringing painting closer to other arts (music, poetry).