He is best known as the illustrator of Jaroslav Hašek's World War One novel The Good Soldier Švejk. He produced nearly 600 cartoons of the Švejk characters, depicting Austria-Hungary officers and civil servants as incompetent, abusive and often drunk.
All subsequent editions of Švejk used Lada's illustrations, except for the 2008/2009 Czech edition illustrated by Petr Urban.
Born in the small village of Hrusice in a cobbler's family, he went to Prague at the age of 14 to become an apprentice binder. He loved to draw and paint. Entirely self-taught, he created his own style as a caricaturist for newspapers, and later as an illustrator. He wrote and illustrated the adventures of Mikeš, a little black cat who could talk.
Lada produced landscapes, created frescoes and designed costumes for plays and films. Over the years he created a series of paintings and drawings depicting traditional Czech occupations.
- Hašek, Jaroslav; Lada, Josef, 1887-1957; Parrott, Cecil Sir, 1909-1984 (1973), The good soldier Svejk and his fortunes in the World War, Heinemann : in association with Penguin, ISBN 978-0-434-31375-4
- Schmadel, Lutz (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, volume 1. Springer. p. 847. ISBN 9783540002383. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Josef Lada.|
- Biography (in Czech)
- Webpage of Josef Lada museum in Hrusice
- Satirist, illustrator and landscape painter Josef Lada subject of major retrospective - Czech Radio