Luděk Pešek

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Luděk Pešek (April 26, 1919 - December 4, 1999) was an artist and novelist noted for his representations of astronomical subjects. Born in Kladno in what is now the Czech Republic, he died in Stäfa, Switzerland.[1][2] The asteroid 6584 Ludekpesek is named for him.[3] He was influenced by Lucien Rudaux.

Personal Resume Ludek Pesek was born in 1919 at Kladno, Czechoslovakia, and grew up in the mining town of Ostrava close to the Beskidy Mountains. His boyhood was marked by the longing for mountains and distant lands, laying the ground for his later interest in geology and astronomy. His potential artistic and literary talents were recognized early and encouraged by his art teacher at grammar school. It was also on that occasion that he first had the opportunity to use an astronomical telescope. At the age of fifteen Ludek acquired a painter's easel and began to practice his hobby earnestly. Later, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

He produced his first art works around the age of 19. His first publications were The Moon and Planets (1963) and Our Planet Earth (1967). His work first reached US readers through the National Geographic Magazine which commissioned him to do a series of works about Mars. Previous to the Mars article he had painted 15 scenes for an article called 'Journey to the Planets' in August 1970. In 1967 Ludek wrote his first science-fiction novel, "Log of a Moon Expedition" which he illustrated in black and white. Another, "The Earth Is Near" won Prize of Honour in Germany in 1971. It was published in the UK and USA in 1974. He illustrated Space Shuttles in 1976. He worked with writer Peter Ryan on several slim books for children: Journey to the Planets (1972), Planet Earth (1972), The Ocean World (1973) and UFOs and Other Worlds, (1975); he later worked with the same author on the large-format Solar System (1978). He also illustrated the excellent "Bildatlas des Sonnensystems" (1974), with German text by Bruno Stanek.

His other publications include a photographic record of Lebanon's historical monuments and natural beauties, and several other novels; one, "Prey der Beute" (Price of a Prey), is about the lives of whalers from old times to the present.

From 1981 to 1985 he produced a series of 35 paintings on 'The Planet Mars' and a series of 50 paintings, 'Virgin Forests in the USA' one of which can be seen on the Earth page.

He has produced several 360-degree panoramas for projection in the domes of the planetariums at Stuttgart, Winnipeg and Lucerne, and has exhibited in Washington, DC, Boston, Nashville, Stuttgart, Berne, Lucerne, Zurich, and other venues. His work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Books in English by Ludek Pesek[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://planetarium.vsb.cz/share/webresources.vsb.cz/grab/dalekohled.vsb.cz/
  2. ^ planetarium.vsb.cz/share/...vsb.../ludek-pesek.html
  3. ^ Lutz D. Schmandel, Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, v. 1 (Springer, 2003), p. 543, col. 2. ISBN 3540002383

Luděk Pešek