Prague Rudolfinum Galery last week opened an exhibition of a very remarkable, though almost unknown Czech artist - Alen Divis. He is a significant artistic figure from the first half of 20th century, who was researched very little up until today. The exhibition at the Rudolfinum presents his work for the first time, and gives an overview of his life.
Outside, on a cold winter's day, there is a rough-and-tumble park. But, inside, in the room where I am is an artists' studio, a studio many Czechs, especially those with children, would recognise for the illustrated figures that look down from the shelves: St George and a comic-looking dragon, a cat that grumbles at a lumbering Golem, Rudolph II hiding on the shelf, and scraggly wolves creeping through an ancient Prague moat. The illustrations of legendary figures from Czech history can only belong to one person and that is artist Lucie
In today's edition Jan Velinger's guest is Ken Nash - a well-known illustrator, designer, and humorist whose work has been featured in publications around the world, including the English-language weekly, the Prague Post. His extensive design work has also included clients like Czech beer manufacturer Pilsner Urquell. Aside from drawing many illustrations, greeting cards, and cartoons, Ken also regularly organises the Alchemy Reading & Performance series here in the Czech capital - the open mic is something that has always been popular among ex-pats
For many readers around the world, Josef Lada's illustrations of the Good Soldier Svejk are inextricably linked to the famous character created by Jaroslav Hasek. But Josef Lada did far more than illustrate Hasek's novel, and his idealized paintings of carol singers and family gatherings are for many in this country an enduring symbol of Czech Christmas.
Some listeners will already be familiar with the work of Czech artist Lucie Seifertova, the author and illustrator of several successful children's pop-up books in Czech and English. Her books include Magical Prague and last year's Children's Book of the Year: A History of the Brave Czech Nation. The success and popularity of her "history" - a massive single-volume comic - eventually led to a new exhibition now underway at the National Museum. There you can experience writ large the small joys and miseries of cartoon characters who wind their ways
The New York Times has called his work "magnificent", Publisher's weekly "stunning": he's Peter Sis the Czech-born children's book illustrator and author of such titles as The Starry Messenger, A Small Tall Tale from the Far, Far North, and The Three Golden Keys. In this edition of Czechs Today we look at Peter Sis' career including his very latest book and talk with the author himself.
This week one of the world's most celebrated children's authors and illustrators is in his native Prague to launch a new book, The Tree of Life, about the life and trials of famous naturalist Charles Darwin. The illustrator is none other than Peter Sis, who has lived in the U.S. since the early 80s. We'll be profiling Mr Sis' work in next week's edition of Czechs Today, but we wanted to offer listeners something of a preview.