Josef Lada (born 17 December 1887 in Hrusice, Bohemia – 14 December 1957 in Prague, buried at Olšany Cemetery) was a Czech painter and writer. He is best known as the illustrator of Jaroslav Hašek's World War I novel The Good Soldier Švejk, having won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1963.
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. Entirely self-taught, he created his own style as a caricaturist for newspapers, and later as an illustrator. He 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, and wrote and illustrated the adventures of Mikeš, a little black cat who could talk.
Lada 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.
One of the cartoons from The Good Soldier Švejk
- Schmadel, Lutz (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, volume 1. Springer. p. 847. ISBN 9783540002383. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- 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
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