Václav Špála

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Václav Špála, cartoon by Alfréd Justitz, c. 1925

Václav Špála (24 August 1885 in Žlunice – 13 May 1946 in Prague) was a Czech painter, graphic designer and illustrator.

He studied at Prague Academy. His work he expose with “Stubborn” group. At the beginning of his career his work was influenced by Fauvism, later by Cubism. Since 1923 he painted mainly landscapes and still-lives.

Václav Špála ranks among the greatest phenomena of Czech modern art. Czech society alternately rejected him and lavished uncritical praise on him, and Špála remains one of the most searched-for artists in the country. His paintings used to accompany many of us throughout our school years, decorating not only classrooms but also numerous offices and living rooms. Špála was one of the first artists to be recognised with the title National Artist, and was awarded it in 1946.

Since 1959 The Václav Špála Gallery carries his name. He is buried at the Vyšehrad Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  • Richard Drury: Václav Špála (1885 - 1946), Prague : The Czech Museum of Fine Arts, 2004, exhibition catalogue, 83pp., ISBN 80-7056-107-6, (Czech) and (in English)
  • Václav Špála : mezi avantgardou a živobytím, Prague : National Gallery, 2005, exhibition catalogue, 274 pp., ISBN 80-7035-299-X, (Czech)