Otakar Lebeda (1877-1901)
Otakar Lebeda was born on May 8, 1877 in Prague. In 1892, when he was only fifteen years old, he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague landscape painting studio led by Professor Julius Mařák, and soon joined František Kaván and Antonín Slavíček among the best students.
Otakar Lebeda produced his entire body of work in only nine years. Unique in its range and content, it shows rapid development from realistic painting to mood landscape painting as a reflection of the artist's state of mind and ultimately to the heightened expressiveness evident in his last works.
The exhibition progresses in chronological order. The section devoted to Lebeda's studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 1892-1897 emphasizes the artworks he produced during the plein-air excursions of Mařák's school to Zákolany and Okoř. Displayed separately are Lebeda's paintings made in places to which he returned during vacation, places such as the lakes of south Bohemia and the Krkonoše Mountains. Lebeda took his first trip abroad as an Academy student. Upon Mařák's recommendation, he ventured across the Alps to Lake Garda.
He left for Paris in October 1897, soon after his graduation from the Academy. He spent three months in Paris studying at the private Colarossi School, and later took two more trips to France. Of major importance was his sojourn in Concarneau in Brittany in the autumn of 1898. The trips to France added a loose brushwork to his work as well as brighter colours, which are apparent in the paintings he did during his trips in Bohemia in 1898-1899 (especially in Karlovy Vary and Bechyně). In the last two years of his life, Lebeda's work displays a distinct expressive flair and departure from landscape painting to figural painting. The landscape paintings Lebeda did in Okoř and Bechyně in 1899 were his last.
In the autumn of 1900, Lebeda began working on a large canvas called Killed by Lightning (3 x 3.5 metres). As a result of the psychological and physical strain of working on this painting, and the effects of his mental illness, young Otakar Lebeda fatally shot himself on April 12. 1901.
A unique collection of personal documents, drawings and correspondence from Lebeda's estate, as organized by his brother Antonín after the artist's death, has been loaned to the exhibition.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue.
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Reduced 80 CZK / after 4 p.m. 50 CZKFamily Ticket 200 CZK / after 4 p.m. 100 CZK