Saturday, February 18, 2017

Josef Vachal (1884 - 1969)

Josef Vachal - A Walpurgis Night's Dream, 1914A Walpurgis Night's Dream, 1914

Josef Vachal - Elementary Plan of Passions and InstinctsElementary Plan of Passions and Instincts

Josef Vachal - Decorations for Czech PuppetsDecorations for Czech Puppets

Josef Vachal - Incubus (Succubus), 1907Incubus (Succubus), 1907

Josef Vachal - Temptation of Saint AnthonyTemptation of Saint Anthony

Josef Vachal - Satanic Invocation, 1909Satanic Invocation, 1909

Josef Vachal - Samiel on SonnbergSamiel on Sonnberg

Josef Vachal - Demon HeadsDemon Heads

Josef Váchal - Alchemist, 1910Alchemist, 1910

Josef Vachal - Title Unknown 2

Josef Vachal - Revolution, 1928Revolution, 1928

Josef Vachal - The Cloaca of the Street, 1910The Cloaca of the Street, 1910

Josef Vachal - Title Unknown

Josef Vachal - Astarte's Mass, 1907Astarte's Mass, 1907

Josef Vachal - Sabath, 1911Sabbath, 1911

Josef Vachal - Dead Man's Dream, 1918Dead Man's Dream, 1918

Josef Vachal - Messenger, 1915Messenger, 1915

Josef Vachal - Belial, illustration from "The Devil's Garden," 1924Josef Belial, illustration from "The Devil's Garden," 1924

Josef Vachal - Moorland Demon, 1932Moorland Demon, 1932

"Josef Váchal (September 23, 1884 in Milavče near Domažlice – May 10, 1969 in Studeňany) was a Czech writer, painter, printmaker and book-printer.

Váchal was the son of Josef Aleš-Lyžec and Anna Váchalová - his parents never married. He was brought up by his grandparents, Jan Aleš and Jana Alešová, in the southern Bohemian town of Písek, where he entered grammar school but left it prematurely. In 1898 Váchal moved to Prague, where he studied bookbinding and befriended his father's cousin, the painter Mikoláš Aleš. He was influenced by Art Nouveau during that time.

In 1900 he wrote his first poems, by 1903 he joined the Prague Theosophy Society, in 1904 he entered the Painter School and later became a respected painter and graphic designer. In 1910 Váchal published his first two books. Between January 1912 and January 1913 he enjoyed a short but intense friendship with the mystical Catholic writer Jakub Deml. In March 1913, Váchal married Máša Pešulová, and began a friendship with the collector J. Portman; Portman's house Portmoneum is now the Váchal Museum in Litomyšl.

From 1916 to 1918 Váchal served as a soldier on the Italian front. During 1940, expressing resistance against Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, he moved from Prague to the village of Studeňany ('tusculum' or 'exile'). After the communist revolution of 1948 in Czechoslovakia, he became more socially and culturally isolated and his works were rarely seen in public. He lived in obscurity on the family estate of his partner, Anna Macková, in Studeňany. Even with the coming of Prague Spring in the late 1960s his situation didn’t significantly change. He was, however, awarded the state title of Meritorious Artist (Zasloužilý umělec) shortly before his death in 1969. He is buried in the village of Radim near Jičín, eastern Bohemia." - quote source

Artworks found at, Album of the Magic Search Exhibit. A video showcasing the entirety of a recently published book of Vachal's art can be viewed here.

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