The author of the painting, painter, draftsman, illustrator and cartoonist Antonín Václav Slavíček (1859 Rozseč - 1938 Zlín) did not complete his studies at the Prague School of Applied Arts due to a call-up order on the Eastern Front. He returned from Russian captivity in 1921 with poor health. He had spent his entire life in poverty and far from the recognition that his efforts and talents deserved. Thanks to the publisher of Dobré dílo, Josef Florian, his illustrations found themselves alongside the works of František Bílek, Josef Čapek, Josef Váchal, Bohuslav Reynek and Georges Rouault. We had the opportunity to see these and other authors last year in the exhibition project, which was created in collaboration with Mgr. Ivo Binder, and for which we published a catalog.
Slavíček's postcard with the motif of the celebration of the birth of Jesus depicts a child caroler and a musician couple in traditional costumes. The group is surrounded by a folk ornament, from which, among other things, a snow-covered country house peeks out. At the bottom it is closed by delicacies for the good of the physical, at the top - surrounded by flowers and in the company of feathered singers - lies the child Jesus in a wrap and a shirt, staring at Heaven. The wishes of the Happy Holidays may be slightly dissonant with the thoughtful expressions of the singers. In the works of Antonín Václav Slavíček we find that he was not indifferent to the difficult life of ordinary villagers. He himself died at the age of 43 as a result of material suffering. The Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava keeps 160 works of his art, mostly illustrations, in its depositories, but there are also landscapes, cartoons of the show, sharp inscriptions on drawings and richly illustrated letters to loved ones.
December 24, 2021
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