Josef Lada

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Josef Lada
Josef Lada, 1940
Josef Lada, 1940
Born(1887-12-17)17 December 1887
Died14 December 1957(1957-12-14) (aged 69)
Occupation(s)Illustrator, Writer

Bust of Josef Lada in Hrusice

Josef Lada (born 17 December 1887 in Hrusice, Bohemia – 14 December 1957 in Prague, buried at Olšany Cemetery) was a Czech painter, illustrator 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.

The asteroid 17625 Joseflada has been named after him.[1]


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.[2] All subsequent editions of Švejk used Lada's illustrations, except for the 2008/2009 Czech edition illustrated by Petr Urban.

Books in English translation[edit]

  • Lada, Josef; Symonds, Renata (1966), Purrkin the talking cat, Harrap, retrieved 16 August 2018
  • Lada, Josef (1966), The story of a fox, Fukuinkan Shoten (published 1900), ISBN 978-4-8340-0058-0

As illustrator[edit]

Hašek, Jaroslav (1961), The tourist guide, Artia, retrieved 16 August 2018



  1. ^ Schmadel, Lutz (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, volume 1. Springer. p. 847. ISBN 9783540002383. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  2. ^ 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{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]