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Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

Czech Modern Painters


Dealing with not only specific artists in the context of their national identity, but also with overarching themes in the rise of modernism, Czech Modern Painters is an articulate and well-researched overview of modern art styles from the former Czechoslovakia, focusing on impressionism, the Art Nouveau movement, and cubism. This study covers three generations of artists who changed the landscape of traditional art at the turn of the twentieth century, and looks specifically at how these artists pushed the boundaries of and came into conflict with the work of their predecessors. To do so, Petr Wittlich has combed through each artist’s work in art school, galleries, and new art journals, while tracking each individual’s own personal style. The result is a beautifully illustrated book that carefully explains the aesthetic theory of each movement, and provides biographical information on the leading personalities of the period and brief, informative captions for each reproduction. Wittlich also investigates the profound influence of capitalism, and the way in which these artists departed from the prevailing aesthetic tastes of their contemporaries.
            Czech Modern Painters has the magisterial quality of a textbook for students of modern art styles while maintaining readability, making it appealing to art lovers and historians alike.

207 pages | 130 color plates, 29 halftones | 9 x 10 | © 2012

Art: European Art

Table of Contents

The Character of Czech Secession
The First Wave
Fin de Siècle Melancholy
Demands of Modernity
Emotional Foundation
Modern Painters of the Mánes Association
Third Czech Secession
Czech Cubism
Revival of Symbolism
Modernism in Dire Straits
Cosmic Inspirations and František Kupka

List of Artists and Dates
List of Reproduced Paintings
List of Illustrations

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